Working Together for Children - Children Services Committees
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA), is leading an initiative to develop and implement a planning model for national and local interagency working to improve outcomes for children. This is collectively known as the Working Together for Children initiative. The purpose of the Working Together for Children initiative is to secure better developmental outcomes for children through more effective integration of policies and services in particular through the Children’s Services Committees (CSCs).
Towards 2016, the Government’s 10-year Social Partnership Agreement, published in 2006, provides an overarching framework to address key challenges that individuals face at each stage of the lifecycle. It includes a specific focus on the needs of children and young adults, and on the implementation of integrated service delivery and interventions at local level. Towards 2016 makes a number of specific commitments in relation to Children’s Services Committees, including: ‘At a local level a multi-agency Children’s Committee will be established within each of the City/County Development Boards. These Committees will be chaired by the HSE who are best placed to drive this initiative to achieve coordinated and integrated services.’
Role of CSCs
Children’s Services Committees (CSCs) are a structure for bringing together a diverse group of agencies in local county areas to engage in joint planning of services for children. All major organisations and agencies working locally on behalf of children and young people will be represented on the CSCs. These committees are responsible for improving the lives of children and families at local and community level through integrated planning, working and service delivery. They also ensure that professionals and agencies work together to ensure that children and their families receive improved and accessible services. The overall purpose of the CSCs is to secure better developmental outcomes for children. CSCs do this by:
•coordinating the implementation of national and regional policies and strategies that relate to children, young people and families in the area covered by the CSC;
•planning and coordinating services for children in the area covered by the CSC in order to improve outcomes for children;
•eliminating fragmentation and duplication of services by ensuring more effective collaboration between children, young people and family services within the area;
•influencing the allocation of resources across the area covered by the CSC with a view to enabling the effective use of resources at local level;
•strengthening the decision-making capacity at local level.
Since 2007, 16 CSCs have been established (some of which are at various stages of development) in the following locations:
Preliminary work has commenced to roll out the initiative into further areas in 2014.
The CSC Steering Group
The CSC Steering Group (CSC SG) is part of the governance structure that includes the NCSIG at national level, and which is designed to support the effective operation and practical implementation of the Children’s Services Committees at local level. The CSC SG membership includes the chairs of all CSCs and local authority and co-ordinator representatives.
National Coordinator for the CSC Initiative
Colma Nic Lughadha has been appointed as National Coordinator for the CSC Initiative with effect from Monday 17th June 2013. Colma is based in the CES Offices, 9 Harcourt St, Dublin 2. Telephone 01 4160511.
- A review of international evidence on interagency working, to inform the development of Children's Services Committees in Ireland
- Toolkit for the Development of a Committee (2nd Edition)
- Governance Framework 2011
- Template for the Children and Young People's Plan (2nd Edition)
- Working Together for Children's Communications Plan
- An introductory guide to the key terms and inter-agency initiatives in use in the Children's Services Committees in Ireland
- Learning from experience to inform the future - Findings emerging from the initial phase of the Children's Services Committees
- Strategic Plan for the Development and Implementation of the CSC Initiative
- Working Together for Children leaflet
The Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, (the Ryan Report) can be accessed at www.childabusecommission.ie
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