The National Recreation Policy for Young People
The National Recreation Policy for Young People which was published in September 2007 provides a strategic framework for the promotion of positive recreational opportunities aimed principally at young people aged 12 to 18. The Policy adopts an evidence-based approach and makes proposals to address issues that emerged from a public consultation process, undertaken by the Office for the Minister Children and Youth Affairs (now Department of Children and Youth Affairs - DCYA) to give all interested parties, including young people, a chance to have a say in the development of the policy. The process of developing the policy was also informed through the findings of independent research commissioned by the DCYA to measure the recreational and leisure activities of young Irish people and, in particular, to examine what they do in their free time, the barriers and supports experienced in accessing recreational opportunities and their aspirations in regard to leisure and recreation.
The Six guiding principles guiding principles underlining the recreation policy are;
Centred on young people
Family- and community-oriented
The Policy sets out seven core objectives:
Give young people a voice in the design, implementation and monitoring of recreation policies and facilities.
Promote organised activities for young people and examine ways to motivate them to be involved.
Ensure that the recreational needs of young people are met through the development of youth-friendly and safe environments.
Maximise the range of recreational opportunities available for young people who are marginalised, disadvantaged or who have a disability.
Promote relevant qualifications/standards in the provision of recreational activities.
Develop a partnership approach in developing and funding recreational opportunities across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors.
Improve information on, evaluation and monitoring of recreational provision for young people in Ireland.
There are 76 actions required under the 7 stated objectives. The DCYA has written to all relevant departments and agencies with responsibilities arising from the policy informing them of their obligations under the policy and requesting that they reflect in their business plans and strategy statements a commitment to delivering on the relevant elements of the Recreation Policy.
The DCYA will also be working with relevant Government departments to examine their spending programmes with a view to the adoption of a more integrated strategic approach to meeting prioritised needs at a level consistent with the National Recreation Policy.
Supporting Play and Recreation Policy Implementation
Between November 2005 and March 2008, the development and promotion of play and the play policy was supported by a National Play Resource Centre (NPRC), commissioned and funded by the DCYA.
Since then, and with the publication of the Recreation Policy, the Children's Services Development and International Unit (CSDIU) within the DCYA has been developing an approach to continue the momentum for the Play Policy and expand support for the implementation of the Recreation Policy.
The CS intends to directly support this work with dedicated staff over the next period, with expert input as appropriate. Work underway includes
Liaison with relevant departments/agencies on developments in line with the play and recreation policies
The development of a regular play/recreation forum network of key local authority, Sports and Arts Officers
Commission of a report on youth café provision and guidance on youth café start up and operation
Management of available dormant accounts schemes related to play and recreation
collation of an initial view of the state of development of local play and recreation plans
The National Play and Recreation Resource Centre was set up to promote Ready Steady Play! A National Recreation Policy and Teenspace National Recreation Policy for Young People.
During the drafting of the Recreational Policy, the development of youth cafés was identified by young people as their single biggest need. The Recreation Policy recognizes that youth cafés offer great potential for providing a wide range of developmental, educational and information programmes to young people. As part of the process of promoting the development of a coherent, structured programme for youth cafés, DCYA undertook survey of 25 or so existing youth cafés.
Following this survey, the National Children’s Advisory Council’s (NCAC) support was requested to advice on the development of a youth café model and to produce a toolkit and guide to setting up youth cafés. NUI Galway agreed to undertake the research on behalf of the NCAC. This research examines key issues like what range of services should be provided by youth cafés, whether one statutory agency or multi-agencies should be centrally involved in the promotion of youth cafés. It also looks at what is the best way of ensuring their continued operation.
This work will guide Government in ensuring that any funding that may be available is targeted and co-ordinated most effectively on a model or models of youth cafés which meet the needs identified by young people themselves. It will also ensure that any additional funding augments, without displacing, the existing inter-agency resources. A final draft of the research has been received and is currently being examined by the Minister.
The NUIG has also been requested to prepare a toolkit and guide to support groups setting up youth cafés. This will be a "how to" guide which will deal with issues such as guiding principles, practical operational matters and provide advice and tips on the day to day management and ongoing development of a café as well as setting up cafés. They are expected to be available to download shortly.
The Playbus Measure arises from action 25 of Ready, Steady, Play!, a National Play Policy. The measure is intended to provide interventions that support the family unit particularly those parents/guardians, and children experiencing social exclusion, for example, through play development and parenting development outreach services.
The main aims of the measure are
To provide a play area for children
To provide a resource area on the bus for parents/guardians of these children to support skills development.
Funding for the Playbus measure has been provided by the DCYA via the Dormant Account Fund, Social and Economic Disadvantage Category. Funding has been allocated to purchase and refurbish Playbuses to support children and their parents, experiencing social exclusion particularly in disadvantaged and isolated areas. Pobal are operating the scheme on behalf of the DCYA. The closing date for receipt of applications, was 28th March 2008. Six Playbus schemes have been approved under the Children's Playbus measure.
National Recreational Policy for Young People - A1 Poster
National Recreational Policy for Young People - Pull - Out
The Report of the Public Consultation for the Development of the National Recreation Policy for Young People
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Young People's Views about Opportunities, Barriers and Supports to Recreation and Leisure
DOWNLOAD EXECUTIVE REPORT [pdf file]
Young People’s Views about Opportunities, Barriers and Supports to Recreation and Leisure
DOWNLOAD REPORT [Word doc]