Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Prepared for the Home-Start National Office by Geraldine French Co-Financed by Home-Start International, Home-Start National Office Ireland Funded by the European Commission Published by Home-Start International, 2nd Floor 6 Market Place London W1W 8AF, UK


This is the Irish national report which forms part of a Trans-national Exchange Programme funded by the European Commission Community Action Programme to Combat Social Exclusion 2002 - 2006. The overall aim of Learning from Families is to address government policies and programmes from the point of view of families of young children themselves, in order to build social environments that enable low income families out of their situation. Part I outlines the challenges facing policy makers, the rationale for the main policies to promote social inclusion and what is thought to contribute to positive and less positive outcomes for families. Policies and practices that seek to help families with children under five years of age are mapped. Part II focuses on documenting families’ experiences and encounters at the receiving end of policies, to understand the barriers to the use of services and full participation in society. In Ireland those parenting alone are the focus of study. Thematic analysis was employed drawing on the families’ experiences with regard to identified dimensions of social exclusion (income and benefits; resources, employment and training, social network, public services, and the subjective nature of social exclusion); the impact of their situation on their children; risk and protective factors, the process into and out of social exclusion and assessment of interventions. Drawing on the experience of families themselves emerging from Part II, Part III offers practical framework/guidelines for policy and practice to promote social inclusion.