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Minister for Health Simon Harris TD was in Bray recently to launch an evaluation report on the SPECS Bray project, which found that the work of this prevention and early intervention initiative has resulted in significant positive outcomes for local parents and children.
The report, entitled ‘A New Way of Working’, highlights the impact and learning of SPECS in the greater Bray area between 2015 and 2017. 65 people took part in the evaluation and satisfaction levels were very high – as one parent said: “Everything good in our family’s life started with me doing that course with SPECS”.
Since its set up in 2015 SPECS has worked with hundreds of parents, impacting on over a thousand children, working collaboratively with local agencies. The project has also provided training to 85 local practitioners, including teachers, early years services, Public Health Nurses and community workers in areas such as parenting programmes and in school programmes that support the social and emotional development of children.
The launch was attended by community members from local schools and community projects, the HSE, Tusla, Bray Municipal District Council and families who have benefited from SPECS programmes.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Harris TD said, “I am delighted to launch the SPECS local evaluation report ‘A New Way of Working’ which showcases the immense work which has taken place with families in the Bray area since 2015. With funding from the Government’s Area Based Childhood (ABC) programme, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and The Atlantic Philanthropies, SPECS has highlighted the impact of collaboration utilising prevention and early intervention approaches which have significantly improved outcomes for parents and children in the local area.”
SPECS stands for Supporting Parents and Early Childhood Services. It is an initiative in the Greater Bray area that is supported by a local Consortium led by Bray Area Partnership. SPECS works with parents, schools, early years services and other agencies to improve outcomes for children from pregnancy through to school age.