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Policies & Initiatives


Children First

The Children First Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on the 19th November 2015 and is being commenced on a phased basis. It provides a legal basis for elements of the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children introduced in 2011. The Act provides a number of key child protections.



A National Quality Standards Framework for youth work (NQSF) was introduced in January 2011.  This is used as a support tool to assess standard of youth work and evaluate development and improvement. The NQSF is currently under review in the hopes to further better its support to  NQSF applies to all staff-led youth work organisations, services, projects and programmes which are funded under the following DCYA schemes:

•    Youth Service Grant Scheme;
•    Special Projects for Youth;
•    Young People’s Facilities and Services Funds 1 and 2;
•    Youth Information Centres.

Support and guidance for local youth work services is being provided by the local ETB (Youth/Liaison) Officer.

The support services for the NQSF with National Youth Organisations are now delivered directly by DCYA.


NQSF Volunteer Led Youth Groups

This supports over 1,600 volunteer-led youth groups, of which over 70% are connected to a National Youth Organisation. The Department is committed to supporting these groups an enabling them to provide the best possible opportunities for young people allowing them to develop and progress.
The Department has finalised a set of national standards for local volunteer-led youth groups and clubs. These are an opportunity for youth groups to demonstrate their commitment to good practice and to the delivery of quality programmes and activities which meet the needs and expectations of its young members.

In 2017 DCYA incorporated the NQSVLYG into the LYCGS.

This revised format has been developed in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. It will reduce the administrative burden, while still requiring clubs to display their commitment to best practice, to ongoing development of quality programmes and the provision of activities for young people.



The LGBTI+ Strategy was launched on 29th June, 2018. For more information see dedicated page.

National Drug Strategy

Role of Drugs Task Forces  

Local and Regional Drugs Task Forces Handbook

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery: A health-led response to drugand alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025 (Summary)