- by Hugh Doogan
The Genesis Programme – which is a consortium of over 50 Partner Organisations – delivers the Incredible Years® suite of programmes to children, families and communities in areas of entrenched disadvantage in Dundalk and Drogheda in Co Louth, Ireland.
The consortium includes early years settings, primary schools, a range of statutory health and children’s services as well as other key stakeholders including the local third level institution, Dundalk Institute of Technology.
Dundalk and Drogheda are two regional towns Co Louth – Ireland’s smallest county – each with a population of just over 30,000.
The vision of The Genesis Programme is to measurably improve the well-being and development outcomes for children aged pre-birth to six years of age in the targeted areas by implementing The Incredible Years® suite of programmes with fidelity using an agreed area based approach.
The programme is funded by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies. The lead agency is Louth Leader Partnership who provide governance and are the employers of the six strong Project Team. The work is overseen by a Management Group and there is an Executive who have devolved responsibility for Staffing Matters, Finance, Office Administration, Tenders and other ongoing matters.
In 2016, four new Area Coordination Teams (ACTs) were set up to support the ongoing development of the initiative in local areas to allow for greater coordination at a local level and to facilitate embedding programme delivery in the respective communities.
The Genesis Programme is two years into implementation now and in that time have delivered over 200 IY programmes including Small Group Dina, Classroom Dina, Teacher Classroom Management, the Parent Baby Programme, the Toddler Programme and the Basic Parent Programme.
In July 2016, the early years practitioners from the Redeemer Crèche & Playgroup became the first group in the world to complete the Incredible Beginnings ™ programme.
This year, The Genesis Programme is delivering their first School Readiness Programme and Autism Spectrum & Language Delays Programme for Parents.
A large number of Group Leaders are trained across the various programmes, many of whom are now accredited or on their way to accreditation and there are three Peer Coaches in training.
The work is ongoing but there is no doubt that that the programmes are having an impact on the children and families as emerging research and evaluation findings are showing.
For more information on The Genesis Programme please visit www.genesislouth.ie