The Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund is a €600,000 one-year fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth via the Dormant Accounts Fund.
On Monday, 13th September 2021 Rethink Ireland announced the Awardees of its Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund. The fund will support nine projects that are all focused on supporting children and young people through the use of technology. Each Awardee will receive a cash grant (of up to a maximum of €50,000) and a place on a comprehensive six-month Accelerator Programme, which will focus on equipping the projects to scale, so they can reach more people in need of their work.
CUBS is the acronym for Children Unite In Bereavement Support. It is a new 8-week programme by Cancer Care West for children who have been bereaved by cancer within the last year. It will be tailored for both onsite and remote implementation. The programme is suitable for children aged seven to twelve. Initially, it will be specifically for children who have lost a parent but can be expanded, over time, to include a sibling programme. Parents will be collaborators in the process, helping children to build and maintain coping strategies between sessions. It will utilize therapeutic art and play to help children learn about grief, validate and normalize the different feelings involved and explore and learn helpful coping strategies.
The “Setting the Standard” project by Cybersafe Kids addresses the need for consistent practice and policy on online safety in primary schools. They will do this by running a pilot in 3 counties, offering access to the CyberSafe Tool for Schools (CSTfS) followed up with wraparound support to primary schools; they are innovative because this is a completely new tool, the first of its kind in Ireland, and designed for and tested on Irish schools. The CSTfS aims to provide a cross-sectional view of online safety from the perspective of the school leadership, the teaching body and pupils with the aim of improving policy and practice in this ever more vital area.
POTTS (Partnering for Occupational Therapy Telehealth Services) is an exciting collaboration between DCD/Dyspraxia Ireland & The School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick. It is a free online Occupational Therapy Service using a partnership approach to provide goal-directed, task orientated, family-centered occupational therapy supports to children, youth & families experiencing Developmental Coordination (DCD)/ Dyspraxia. It is also a clinical immersion for Occupational Therapy Students providing essential clinical placement hours while ensuring that they meet the CORU standards of proficiency.
Inspired by a desire to keep young people involved in youth work on a deeper level than computers or phones allowed during the pandemic, Foróige piloted the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to break down barriers and create a social and developmental youth workspace where young people could gather, create, learn and get support without leaving their homes. VR is one strand of a rapidly developing suite of immersive technologies that make it possible to mirror real-life situations in an online space. To the best of our knowledge and research, this is the first initiative of its kind in Ireland, with a focus on moving VR beyond entertainment into structured (but fun) experiential learning and development. VRóige uses VR technology to make a real-world difference in the lives of young people facing isolation in their lives.
JA Finance Park® Virtual by Junior Achievement Ireland uses technology-enabled learning to enable students to build a foundation on which they can make intelligent financial decisions that last a lifetime, including decisions related to income, expenses, savings, and credit. The programme comprises several teacher-led, in-class lessons and culminates in a hands-on, online budgeting simulation that is supported by business volunteers. On full rollout JA Finance Park – Virtual will offer two implementation options: “Entry Level” geared toward late-stage primary and early-stage junior cycle and “Advanced” suitable for all second-level students.
Le Cheile Family Resource Centre was founded in 1999 and has served the population of Mallow and the greater North Cork hinterland since. Le Cheile FRC is part of the National Family Resource Centre Programme funded by the Child & Family Agency Tusla. They have a proven track record in providing a vast range of services including Counselling, Tenancy Support, Social Prescribing Link worker, Community Health Project Worker, Family Support, Community Development opportunities, Refugee Resettlement project, Literacy Support and Childcare for children aged 0-6 years.
The Building Connections project by Nasc Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre addresses educational inequality and improves access to services for asylum-seeking and refugee children and young people in Cork. They do this by helping them to rebuild their language skills through virtual classes, connect them to vital services through their virtual accompaniment service and help to improve mental health through links to online therapy. They use innovative technology to overcome geographical barriers to asylum seekers and refugees in remote areas and give hands-on support to help them transition to digital solutions, to ensure easier access to vital resources.
‘Live from The Ark’ by The Ark combines in-depth creative workshops, downloadable activity packs and filmed performances to bring the best art to thousands of children all over Ireland. By promoting directly to DEIS schools and making activities and resources available free of charge, they will reach disadvantaged children in greater numbers than ever before. All aspects of the programme, particularly their workshops (delivered live in the classroom via Zoom) will support personal and academic development through creativity.
The ‘Let’s Work it Out’ project by Treoir and Dublin Community Mediation addresses parenting issues that emerge for many parents who do not live together to create a more collaborative parenting model for their children in the Republic of Ireland. They do this by providing a suite of supports to one or both parents to build their capacity to communicate more effectively and manage conflicts that emerge. This innovative project adapts to the needs of parents and is provided online nationally, to one or both parents.