Share, Michelle, Doyle, Erika, Callahan, Amy, Greene, Sheila, Wachtler, Margaret and Boyd, Eimear
Baseline Evaluation of the Dublin Docklands Parent Child Home Programme.
National College of Ireland, Dublin.
This study evaluated programme implementation and outcomes for the developmental phase (2009-2011) of the Parent Child Home Programme (PCHP) in three domains: the programme, the Home Visitors, and children and their parents.
The PCHP home visiting programme aims to improve school readiness of children at risk of educational disadvantage. A trained Home Visitor calls to a parent and child twice a week over two years. Each week the Home Visitors interact with the children, using the books and toys provided, and model oral language, reading and play. Parents are encouraged to continue this practice between visits.
The Dublin Docklands PCHP, operating in four Liffeyside parishes, commenced in autumn 2007, based on a model developed in the United States. Unlike the US PCHP, the Docklands programme is delivered by local women, all mothers, rather than professionals. This was important to programme success: if not accepted locally it would have had difficulty reaching its goals.
We undertook a longitudinal study of the Dublin Docklands PCHP that examined programme implementation and outcomes during PCHP’s pilot phase (2009- 2011). Programme implementation records for two cohorts of children were
assessed against the PCHP programme replication standards. Twenty-five children (two cohorts, one in programme year 2 and another commencing year 1) were administered developmental assessments on four occasions (three for
those in year 2) at programme commencement, during and at programme end. Seventeen parents were interviewed about their programme experiences. Eleven Home Visitors participated in semi-structured interviews on three occasions. These interviews explored their pathway into and through the home visiting programme, experience of programme delivery, understanding of their job and its impact on their personal and professional lives. Two focus groups were conducted at the end of each programme year, where Home Visitors were asked about the experience of implementing the programme. In the final focus groups the Home Visitors were asked for their perspectives on the key issues arising from the research.
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