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In the past 10 years there has been considerable policy, practice and organisational developments and investment in children and youth services with an increasing focus on early intervention and prevention approaches.

Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 identifies Prevention and Early Intervention as a key transformational goal for children’s services.

Prevention and Early Intervention was also chosen as a cross-sectoral priority in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures in order to enable Departments to collaborate on cross cutting issues relating to prevention and early intervention.

Harnessing the significant learning in this area and adopting a more strategic approach has the best potential of improving outcomes for children and young people.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has been at the forefront of driving strategic developments in Prevention and Early Intervention in recent years. In 2016, the Department  proposed and hosted an EU Peer Review over several days in Dublin Castle with the EU Commission, 10 Member States and domestic stakeholders. The theme of this was harnessing PEI to improve children’s outcomes and address child poverty.

This initiative builds on this review, the development of strategic implementation structures such as the Children and Young People Services Committees (CYPSC), and learnings harnessed from over a decade of investment in Prevention and Early Intervention in order to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families.