The Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) process evaluation Thematic Report No. 3: CDI experience impacting on training and support of managers and practitioners
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Canavan, J., Coen, L., Ozan, J. and Curtin, C. (2014) CDI Experience Impacting on Training and Support of Managers and Practitioners. Dublin: Childhood Development Initiative.
BACKGROUND The Tallaght West Child Development Initiative (CDI) aims to improve outcomes for children and young people through the implementation of a ten year strategy A Place for Children: Tallaght West. In Winter 2008 the Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway (CFRC) was commissioned to undertake a process evaluation of CDI. In using the strategy as its starting point, the CFRC developed an evaluation plan underpinned by five core themes evident in the strategy. These five themes correspond to the outputs of the evaluation plan. These outputs (reports) are: 1. Review of the Origins and Strategy Development of CDI; 2. Working Together and Service Integration aspects of CDI; 3. CDI Experience Impacting on Training and Support of Managers and Practitioners; 4. CDI as a Community-Led Initiative; 5. CDI, Sustainability, and Informing Government Thinking and Policy Making. This report relates to the third output listed above, training and support. CDI undertakes a significant amount of work in relation to progressing its strategic aims of developing and delivering quality services for families and support for practitioners. Central to this is the commissioning of a core set of training programmes for staff of its services and a wider Quality Enhancement Programme (QEP) open to all practitioners, and in some cases to community members, in Tallaght West. The QEP comprises three elements: special talks or conferences; lunchtime seminars; and workshops and short, medium and long term training courses. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The overarching aim of this report is to examine the extent to which the CDI experience impacts on training and support for practitioners and managers. More specifically, the evaluation questions developed in conjunction with CDI can be grouped into three clusters of objectives: • What are CDI’s strategic aims regarding the provision of training and support to organisations in Tallaght West? • What processes underpin the development and implementation of training and support to these organisations? • Are there organisational and individual shifts in attitude towards training and support amongst recipient organisations in Tallaght West? DESIGN AND METHODS This aspect of the process evaluation was designed in conjunction with CDI. A draft evaluation plan for this theme was developed and forwarded to CDI for comment and affirmation. The plan was adjusted on foot of these comments and finalised. As with all aspects of a process evaluation, a mixed methods approach was adopted. For this report the following methods were used: • Documentary analysis: in consultation with CDI a hierarchy of documents was developed and examined. For this report, quantitative content analysis was deployed with particular forms of support searched for and frequency quantified. Analysis of attendance data from various QEP events was also undertaken; • Focus groups and interviews were undertaken with a number of different stakeholders. CDI staff were interviewed together and individually. A sample of organisations involved in each of the five services was taken and one-to-one semi structured interviews and focus groups were undertaken. • A short survey was also developed and administered with the support of CDI for those who provided training; • A small number of observations were performed of a number of training and support related activities, including managers’ meetings and communities of practice (CoPs).
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