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dc.contributor.authorShaw, Aileen
dc.contributor.authorCanavan, John
dc.identifier.citationShaw, A. and Canavan, J. (2017) Introducing Commissioning in Ireland: Establishing a Baseline. Galway: UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway.en_IE
dc.description.abstractEstablished on 1 January 2014, through the Child and Family Agency Act, Tusla is responsible for improving well-being and outcomes for children.1 In 2014, Tusla published the first nationally developed commissioning strategy for child and family services in the Republic of Ireland. The strategy defines commissioning as ‘the process of deciding how to use the total resources available for children and families in order to improve outcomes in the most efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable way’ (Gillen et al., 2013: 1). Based on the approach outlined in the strategy, Tusla undertook to develop a three-year commissioning plan (2015–18). Among the functions set out for Tusla in legislation, the Act also creates a new framework for accountability for the use of resources; for financial arrangements between the agency and other organisations, including not-for-profit providers; and for non-financial service provision arrangements with other statutory bodies. This drive for an effective resource-allocation orientation takes place in the context of a national policy orientation towards greater management of constrained resources. In the area of children and family services, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ Statement of Strategy 2011–2014, acknowledging severe resource constraints, specifies the need for research evidence on effectiveness to inform the review, redesign or curtailment of such programmes and services (DCYA, 2012). The first overarching national policy framework for children and young people in Ireland, Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, stipulates that Tusla must introduce the commissioning of services ‘by moving away from a grants system to outcome-based contracts, and offer support to build capacity within the children and youth sector to respond to the new approach’ (DCYA, 2014: 69). Outside of the children and youth sector, a key theme of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s strategy is the need for a stronger emphasis on better outcomes for service users, and a commitment to change how services are designed and delivered (DPER, 2014).en_IE
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research is part of the Development and Mainstreaming Programme for Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Research and Evaluation study led by Dr John Canavan at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway. The authors of this study are grateful to the contribution of the research team from the project for their ongoing support relating to the work and especially to Professor Caroline McGregor and Dr. Anne Cassidy who reviewed drafts. Special thanks to researcher John Reddy who undertook a significant amount of fieldwork and to Eileen Flannery for her assistance in the report design. Special thanks also to the members of the Expert Advisory Committee Professor Nigel Parton and Professor Bob Lonne for their invaluable feedback into the final report. We would like to sincerely thank our colleagues at Tusla especially Eifion Williams and Greg Ryan along with members of the internal Commissioning Team for their input. Finally and importantly, we especially thank all of the participants in the study who graciously took time to share their experiences and insights.en_IE
dc.publisherUNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galwayen_IE
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
dc.subjectChild servicesen_IE
dc.subjectFamily servicesen_IE
dc.titleIntroducing commissioning in Ireland: establishing a baselineen_IE
dc.local.contactJohn Canavan, Dept. Of Pol.Sci. & Soc., Arts/Science Building, Nui, Galway. 5397 Email:

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