Cavan & Monaghan

Planet Youth Cavan & Monaghan

The Planet Youth model has been introduced to Cavan and Monaghan through an interagency committee, made up of representatives from a number of Statutory and Community based organisations, who have a remit for children and young people.  Together, the Planet Youth Implementation group has initiated the projects needs led, bottom-up approach that will see data collated directly from young people, providing us with information on the lives and lifestyle of our young people.  Co -funded by 10 local partners, our Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of the Model is for the next 5 years. The Icelandic Centre of Research and Social Studies (ICRSA) of the University of Reykjavik will collate our local data and forward it to our research partners in the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

Our Mission is to lead a process of transformative change by embedding primary prevention approaches which enhance young people’s health, relationships, environment and wellbeing.

While public bodies and non-profit organisations are already working together to improve outcomes for young people, evidenced-based prevention needs greater priority. Planet Youth provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to change the way they think about prevention and their role in it. Agencies and organisations – big and small – must consider what they can do within their remit, either directly or indirectly. Th is includes reassessing their activities with a view to minimising risk factors and maximising protective factors. While stakeholders will approach Planet Youth in different ways, ultimately the shared objective is to achieve better outcomes for young people.

Planet Youth is an international evidence-informed primary prevention model, developed by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICtSRA) at Reykjavik University. It was initially developed in order to reduce substance use rates amongst young people.

The model uses a whole population approach and offers the opportunity to improve health and life outcomes for young people in many areas. It works by directly targeting the risk and protective factors that determine their substance use behaviours and enhancing the social environment they are growing up in. By reducing the known risk factors and strengthening the known protective factors the problems associated with adolescent substance use and related negative behaviours can be reduced or stopped before they arise.

Importantly Planet Youth is a process-structure to collaboration where researchers, policy makers and administrative leaders, and practitioners join forces and use efficient data diagnosis to set local goals and pick strategies that may work well in their environment. This is important, as the linked interventions will vary from area to area. That is the value of the area based data collection and diagnosis.

Prevention activities are more likely to succeed when they are systematic, evidence-based and collaborative. While the need for prevention is increasingly recognised, it often occurs in an ad hoc manner. Planet Youth urges all stakeholders – from national and local government to public bodies, schools and community-based organisations – to play their part in prioritising prevention in an integrated and holistic way.

We are leading out on an initial 5 year Planet Youth Plan. We will begin with a survey for post junior cert students in schools in North County Dublin in 2021. This is a health and wellbeing survey that looks at risk and protective factors for drug & alcohol use and a range of other key health and wellbeing areas for young people. Instead of assuming that we know what it is like to grow up in our area we are asking young people to tell us! We will use this data to develop a Planet Youth plan which will involve many partners all working together to improve the lives of young people in our communities.”

The Planet Youth Implementation Group Members

Name of member Organisation / sector
Maureen Mc Intyre
Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board & Site Lead
Andy Ogle
The North Eastern Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force & Chairperson
Stephanie Kane
The North Eastern Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force
Ste Corrigan
Cavan Children and Young People Services Committee
Collette Deeney
Monaghan Children and Young People Services Committee
Caolan Faux
Youth Work Ireland Cavan Monaghan