Minister Fitzgerald to lead new Government Strategy for Children and Young People
Minister launches Public Consultation
11th June 2012
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs with some young volunteers from St. Audoen's School
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, is today (June 11th) launching a public consultation on the forthcoming Children & Young People’s Policy Framework. The consultation will be open for the 4 weeks from 11th June - 6th July and is available for completion online.
Speaking at today’s launch, which took place at ‘The Ark’ Children’s Cultural Centre in Temple Bar, Minister Fitzgerald stated: “I am delighted to launch this public consultation. When drawing-up new policies and plans, I believe it is vitally-important that government listens to and is led by those we serve. In this case I want to hear from children, young people and parents but also from those practitioners and organisations who work so hard for Ireland’s children and young people.”
The Framework, which will succeed the previous National Children’s Strategy, will set out the Government’s high level policy priorities for children and young people for the next 5 years. It will be followed by more detailed Strategies for Early Years (0-6), Middle Childhood (6-12), and Youth (over 12).
Commenting on the new Policy Framework Minister Fitzgerald said “it will represent a dynamic and forward-looking Government Strategy for Ireland’s Children and Young People.
“The lives of Irish children and young people have changed significantly over the past decade. This framework will reflect these changes and will seek to respond to the cutting-edge issues affecting Irish childhood and youth, from economic pressures such as child poverty and youth unemployment to heath problems such as the rise in childhood obesity to cultural influences such as the impact of new technologies, media and consumerism.”
“This framework will provide an important opportunity for a whole-of-government approach to these issues with the ultimate goal of improving the quality-of-life and opportunities for Irish children and young people.”
This stage of public consultation follows-on on from a previous focused consultation of 67,000 children and young people.
Speaking at the launch, Maria Corbett of the Children’s Rights Alliance said “This consultation process provides a golden opportunity for all those interested in children to have their views heard by the Department. Over the next few months, Government will develop a national plan of action for children. This five-year strategy will have a profound impact on children’s services and policies over the coming years. It is vital that key decisions are not made in a vacuum but are informed by the voices of children, families and professionals and experts working with, and on behalf of, children. The Alliance will be encouraging its member organisations to get involved and underpin their responses with the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child."