Early Years / School Supports
Empower employs a Community Development Worker specifically assigned to the area of Family and Child Well Being. This team member supports all Community Childcare Services in Fingal and is also a member of the Fingal Community Childcare Network (established in 2001 by Empower). The key objectives of the network are aligned with the key aims of 'The National Strategic Plan 2011-2013' (Early Childhood Care and Education) to deliver early childhood care and education programmes which support children and families. Empower has also taken a lead role in advocating for the expansion of community childcare services in Balbriggan where currently only one service which is at capacity exists.
In collaboration with Aster Family Resource Centre, Empower established a multi-agency task group which supports schools to cater for the educational needs of homeless children. The group provides a homework club which provides safety, routine and predictability, provides financial supports to allow homeless children access school and other services, it also provides supports to address food poverty.
We also work with DEIS schools in Dublin 15 via the Step Ahead programme. DEIS schools help to identify young people who need concrete supports while in the school system to support their transition into work or further study. The supports range from helping to open a bank account to driver theory tests and confidence building programmes. The initiative works with small numbers over a long period with intense supports and regular opportunities for onward referrals to our Activation and Employment team. (Check with Monica Lawless – we now call this Post-Secondary Preparation programme, might want to mention JumpAGrade too)