€3 million funding secured for innovative new programme to support families with children showing behaviours consistent with ADHD
Funding for an innovative new early intervention programme which will help thousands of families affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been announced. The Changing Lives Initiative is a new cross border project which aims to reduce dependence on medicalised intervention in young children who have behaviours consistent with ADHD.
The local Louth team tasked with implementation are pictured above. They are L-R: Siobhan McDonald, Eileen Costello, Christina Ryan, Sandra Farrell and Annemarie Ó Murchú.
The €3 million initiative is being supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, a programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and will focus on border areas in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland. Roll out of the programme will commence next month and will benefit over 2,000 families in these regions.
The Changing Lives Initiative is aimed at families of children aged 3 to 7 with a pattern of behaviour consistent with ADHD. It is estimated that as many as 8 to 11% of school aged children have ADHD. While international guidelines for treating this disorder suggest parent education and training programmes as the first line of treatment, this option is not available to families in these regions.
The Changing Lives Initiative will offer a programme for families consisting of an information and awareness raising programme, a screening programme, and a treatment service in the form of the 20 session Incredible Years parenting programme. In tandem with this process there will be training for those working with young children, in particular teachers and early years professionals.
The new Initiative will be delivered across County Louth, Colin/West Belfast, and the Argyll & Bute region of Scotland. The Initiative is being delivered by five partner organisations: Archways (lead partner), Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Dundalk Institute of Technology, The Genesis Programme (Louth Leader Partnership) and NHS Highland. The programme will be rolled out locally by The Genesis Programme.
Welcoming the funding Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer with the SEUPB, said: ‘This project that will have a transformative effect on the lives of thousands of children and families affected by ADHD. It also underlines the EU’s commitment to supporting the development of more efficient health and social care delivered through new and innovative cross-border partnerships to all citizens. The cross border collaborative partnership involved in this project will deliver upon an internationally recognised good practice model of intervention for children with ADHD and hyperkinetic disorders.’
Hugh Doogan, Programme Manager with The Genesis Programme who will delivering the initiative in Co Louth said: ‘The Changing Lives Initiative is an innovative new project that will provide a much needed support for families with children aged 3 to 7 years who are concerned about ADHD. The Initiative aims to significantly reduce dependence on medicalised interventions among this group of children by providing a high quality evidence based programme to the local community. This project will make a real difference to families locally. We are extremely grateful to the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme for funding this initiative.’
The project will be evaluated by researchers in the NetwellCasala Centre in Dundalk Institute of Technology, led by Dr Lucia Carragher.
Dr Carragher, Research Fellow at the NetwellCasala Centre in Dundalk Institute of Technology said: ‘DkIT is one of the leading Institutes of Technology with an international reputation in terms of its research. As a core research centre within DkIT, our work on this project will support evidence based practice not just locally but in Northern Ireland and Scotland, helping to shape policy in the years ahead’.
The Initiative will be rolled out in County Louth and West Belfast in coming months, with roll out in Scotland due to commence in Autumn next year. Further information on how families can avail of the programme will be available soon from the partner organisations.
Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department for Health in Northern Ireland and the Department of Health in Ireland
INTERREG VA Programme
- The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.
- The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
- The INTERREG VA Programme has a value of €283 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.
- For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu please visit seupb.eu