Home from Home Programme
The Home from Home Transition Programme is an intensive weekly home visiting programme developed by our Home Visiting Team in Dublin’s Inner City for families living in emergency/ homeless accommodation, which provides an integrated plan of intervention and support for families with children aged 16 months onwards. An adaptation of the ParentChild+ programme, its overall aim is to meet the needs of families living under the duress of homelessness, who would not be able to commit to a two-year programme and twice weekly visits. To date, it has only been delivered in the Docklands. In 2021-22, it is hoped to extend it to 4 other areas around the country.
Home from Home is an innovative, home-based literacy and parenting programme that strengthens families and prepares children to succeed academically. Home Visitors model oral language, reading and play in their weekly visits/virtual visits over a 12-week period. The families then continue the activities in their own time, thereby enabling the child and his/her siblings to develop their language, literacy and numeracy skills. Once per week over twelve weeks is a feasible commitment for families experiencing homelessness who usually have many other appointments and obligations during the week.
- Engages parents and children in a weekly home visit for a 12-week period
- Emphasis's the most developmentally appropriate books and toys for the child
- Models positive parent-child interactions
- Instils the educational value from the books and toys provided in the home visit
- Improves educational outcomes for children living in homelessness
- Links in with other supports the family are receiving
Collaboration with organisations providing services to homeless families
Collaborations with statutory and voluntary organisations with experience and knowledge in the area of homelessness is an important element of this programme. These included Focus Ireland, Crosscare, The Homeless Agency (Park Gate Hall), Túsla, the HSE, in particular the Public Health Nurses and The Foundations Project (after school service for primary level children living in homeless accommodation). Relationships were also developed with staff working in the Homeless Hubs in Dublin 1 and 3 where families are living. Linking with these organisations has increased ELI’s knowledge and skills in delivering services to those who are experiencing homelessness and increased our capacity to reach families in these setting during the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Activity packs and My Place to Play playmats for infants were delivered to homeless hubs during lockdowns.