John Lonergan launches children's welfare survey
'How Are They Doing? A Community Perspective on Child Well-Being' is the first survey of its kind in Ireland and indicates that children from traditionally disadvantaged areas are performing better than the national norm.
The study, which was carried out by Clondalkin-based organisation Archways and commissioned by the Blue Skies Initiative and The Genesis Programme, was conducted in two separate phases and examined the well-being of children aged 7, 10 and 12 years living in Drogheda, Dundalk and Clondalkin.
John Lonergan hosted the Dublin launch of the project last week.
The children themselves answered questions on their well-being, self-concept, their cognitive abilities and academic performance. Parents and teachers were also quizzed about their perspective on how well these children were doing.
Hugh Doogan, Programme Manager with The Genesis Programme "This research goes towards giving a voice to children and it's important that we listen. The children in this study are exceeding expectations academically, are resilient and confident in themselves. However, some children are beginning to struggle emotionally and psychologically as they get older."
"The results of this current study show that investment in the children of Louth and indeed North and Southwest Clondalkin has made a difference. It is vital that we continue to invest in their futures and provide them with the resources needed to continue to do well and overcome any difficulties they may face."
This research challenges the assumption of poor outcomes for children living in areas that have been typically identified as disadvantaged - with these findings expected to change the current dialogue around education and well-being of children in demographically disadvantaged areas.
Alice Malone, Quality Assurance Coordinator with The Genesis Programme said: "This study is the first of its kind to be carried out in Co. Louth in which children from 14 schools from Dundalk and Drogheda participated. It gives us a great insight into how parents and teachers view the well-being of our children. More importantly, it gives children aged 7, 10 and 12 an opportunity to have their voice heard and to tell us how they view themselves. It is very encouraging to hear that the children's sense of self is up there with children nationally and that they have high levels of resilience and are doing well academically."