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The YAP Model

The YAP Model is a unique way of providing intensive, focused support to children, young people and families with a range of needs. The YAP model is based upon the development of a trust relationship between a supportive, trained and skilled adult advocate, the young person and their family.

An individual service plan based on the strengths of the young person and their family is developed and offers a wraparound approach to address the needs of the young person within their family and local community. YAP’s goal is to empower young people and their families and to put in place supports that will remain after programme involvement has ended. The model is flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of a wide range of client groups.

Principles of YAP Model

  • Provides 15 hours of one-to-one support for a young person or family per week
  • Flexible service tailored to specific needs which uses a strengths based, wraparound approach
  • No Eject, No Reject policy and Never Give-Up Approach.
  • Ability to respond rapidly, such as our Crisis Intervention Service.
  • Six month model with Advocates dedicated to the case.
  • Ability to provide service in any area where children are at risk or support is needed.
  • On-call support service available to families and staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Advocates are recruited from local communities
  • Outcomes measurement system in place to assess the impact of the YAP programme.
  • Monitoring calls during the case gives parents/carers the opportunity to feedback to YAP on the quality of the service.
  • Ability to respond quickly to set up services in new areas and respond to emerging needs.

Cost Effectiveness

The HSE Child and Family Services, now TUSLA Child and Family Agency has funded the YAP model in Ireland since 2002 and found it to be an extremely cost-effective alternative to the high financial and emotional costs of care placements and one which also achieves positive outcomes for young people and families. This helps to reduce the pressure on a range of services including social work services, youth justice, education, child and adolescent mental health and disability services. An average YAP place for 6 months costs approximately €10,000. 

External Evaluation of YAP Ireland

YAP Ireland CLG contracted a research team in 2012 from National University of Maynooth (NUIM) to carry out an external evaluation of the YAP Ireland model. This longitudinal study published in 2014 sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the YAP model in an Irish context, to assess whether the structure of the organisation is fit for purpose and whether its new programmes contribute to positive outcomes for young people and families.

The research evaluation methodology included a series of phased Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) administered to a sample of young people and their guardians, a mid-way fidelity study with the SDQ sample, focus group interviews with case managers and advocates, the tracking of individual cases and a comparison with a pre-defined comparator group.

To view the report please select the following link:

NUI Maynooth Longitudinal Evaluation of YAP Ireland