Darndale-based Home Visiting Programme Selected for Implementation in Chicago

Darndale-based Home Visiting Programme Selected for Implementation in Chicago

  • Mar, 2022
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Preparing for Life (PFL), Northside Partnership’s Home-Visiting programme based in Darndale, has been selected by the University of Chicago's Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD), founded by Nobel Laureate, James Heckman, as the programme it will implement to measure the impact of Early Intervention on families in Chicago. PFL supports parents to nurture their children, allowing the child, the family and the community to thrive.

The partnership between CEHD and PFL means that families served in this home visiting program will benefit from extensive expertise in multiple areas. PFL has run one of the most successful evidenced-based home visiting programs in Ireland for over 12 years. CEHD, a pioneer in the use of innovative economic analysis of early interventions, has studied the impact and benefits of the PFL program. Now they will merge their expertise with a local group to serve and support Chicago children and families.

Babies learn from birth, and the social, emotional and cognitive skills they build in the earliest years are the foundation for success in school and life. “Skills beget skills. Abundant research shows that early interventions to help support this development pay off with long-lasting benefits in education, employment, earnings and health,” said Prof. Heckman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who directs CEHD. “Early intervention is the most efficient way to promote better outcomes as adults.”

Home visiting is a well-established approach to support families and help them provide an optimal environment for child development. Partnering with a local early childhood organization to provide this support, CEHD will use advanced economic analysis to assess the impact of this support and learn more about which approaches work best and why.

Niall Sexton, Program Manager with Preparing for Life in Dublin welcomed the announcement: “PFL has been shown to have a lasting impact in Darndale through research conducted by Dr. Orla Doyle of the Geary Institute in UCD. We are very excited to now be part of this international collaborative project. We are really looking forward to working in partnership with families, community services and CEHD to help build long-lasting outcomes for children and parents in Chicago.”

Preparing for Life also has plans for expansion to other communities in Ireland.  In addition to Darndale, PFL  Home Visiting is provided in Finglas, Bray, Newbridge and Athy, Co. Kildare.  PFL is currently in discussion with Tusla to expand to three new areas this year and to support more families in Ireland. 

For more information, visit the project page: http://cehd.uchicago.edu/homevisiting

About the Partners

The Center for the Economics of Human Development was founded in 2014 by Nobel Laureate James J. Heckman at the University of Chicago to identify and explore the circumstances under which people develop the skills necessary to thrive and achieve their fullest potential. The Center’s comprehensive research program seeks a thorough empirical understanding of human flourishing. Unifying this research is the idea that capacities and skills gained in early childhood set the foundation for positive outcomes throughout life, ranging from employment and earning prospects to overall health. The Center equips policymakers and practitioners with information necessary to promote equality of opportunity for even the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Preparing for Life is a program of Northside Partnership, the community based non-profit local development company established to support social and economic regeneration in Northeast Dublin. PFL is an evidenced-based, home visiting program designed to improve school readiness. Trained home visitors meet with the family regularly beginning in pregnancy and provide structured information and support across the primary areas of child development. Throughout the process, home visitors seek to identify and build on the parent’s inherent strengths and resources. Over 12 years of operation, PFL has demonstrated significant, lasting outcomes for children in formal evaluations.