The €2m Innovation Fund under the What Works Initiative was launched in April 2018 by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to test new prevention and early intervention innovations, that build on existing data and evidence to improve outcomes for children and young people (0-24 years) who experience disadvantage in Ireland. This once-off funding measure was developed to allow providers within the child and family sectors highlight the innovation they are delivering to improve outcomes for children.
The fund was open to community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations with a demonstrable track record of implementing evidence informed prevention and early intervention approaches in children’s and young people’s services.
The scheme was designed to support two types of projects:
- Seed Strand Projects, under which projects were expected to test a new idea for improving one of the five national outcomes for children and young people and/or the specific cross-cutting themes outlined in the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Transformational Goals (€800.000).
- Scale Strand Projects, under which proposals were expected to build on an existing programme, model or approach that has shown promising impact on one of the five national outcomes for children and young people and/or the specific cross-cutting themes outlined in the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Transformational Goals (€1.2m).
Over €2m were awarded to 51 organisations across the country in June 2018 to implement such innovative and diverse projects aimed at improving the lives of children, young people and their families in local communities and nationally.