Childrens Services Committees (CSCs)
Childrens Services Committees (CSCs) arose from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ Working Together for Children Initiative to develop and implement a local planning model for interagency working to improve outcomes for children. CSCs bring 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 are represented. These committees work to improve the lives of children, young people and families at local and community level through integrated planning and improved service delivery.
The overall purpose of CSCs is to secure better outcomes for children and young people 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 and young people;
• 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.
CSCs are firmly embedded in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 – 2020, as an important vehicle for local interagency work. The National Policy Framework tasks CSCs with a number of key functions in interagency coordination and planning of services for children and young people.
Funding has been allocated in 2014 for the development of CSCs. At present 20 CSCs are in place, the majority are fully established and others are in the developmental phase: Dublin City North, Dublin City South, South Dublin, Donegal, Limerick, Kildare, Carlow/Kilkenny, Fingal, Kerry, Longford/Westmeath, Louth, South Tipperary, Meath, Wicklow, Waterford, Sligo/Leitrim, Cavan/Monaghan, Galway/Roscommon, Wexford and Cork. As committed to in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 – 2020, work will continue to expand CSC coverage throughout the country, subject to resource capacities. This coverage will ensure that a CSC will be active in each local authority area and be involved in supporting local interagency work and in ensuring local implementation of the National Policy Framework, in the context of inter-agency planning.
DCYA provides funding, and strategic and policy direction for Children Services Committees. A National Coordinator for Children’s Services Committees was recruited in 2013 to lead and roll-out the CSC initiative. A CSC National Steering Group was established in 2012 which is currently being reconstituted to align with the implementation structures in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 – 2020. The Chair of the CSC National Steering Group is Dr. Sheelah Ryan who also sits on the National Policy Framework’s Children and Young People’s Policy Consortium and will oversee refocusing the work of the Group.
A new website for Children’s Services Committees is under development. For further information on Children Services Committees please contact the National Co-ordinator for CSCs based at the Centre for Effective Services, Ms. Colma NicLughadha: firstname.lastname@example.org or the DCYA Policy Innovation Unit: PolicyInnovation@dcya.gov.ie.