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Teenager’s views sought on the ideal qualities for the Ombudsman for Children

Tuesday, 21st October 2014       

Morrison Hotel, Dublin

Dr James Reilly TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs today opened a consultation with young people (aged 13-17) seeking their views on the person specification for the recruitment of the Ombudsman for Children. Speaking at the event Minister Reilly said: “Today you will get the chance to give your views on what kind of person the Ombudsman for Children should be. The Ombudsman for Children is a really important job and we need to get the views of children and young people so that the Public Appointments Service can select the right person for the job.” The consultation process was conducted by the Citizen Participation Unit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

“Yesterday, we had a similar consultation workshop with children (aged 8-12) who gave us really interesting opinions on the person specification for the Ombudsman for Children,” added the Minister.

“You will be given information about the role of an Ombudsman by Bernie McNally, Director General, of the Office of the Ombudsman. Karen McAuley, the Participation and Education Officer in the Ombudsman for Children's Office will talk about some of the work done in their office in recent years. You will also get important information on the recruitment process by Áine Gray, Head of Assessment Services of the Public Appointments Service. This information will help you in discussing the most important qualities of the Ombudsman for Children,” stated Minister Reilly.

“At the end of each of consultation day, six children and six young people will be selected to become part of the children and young people’s panel for the recruitment process,” continued the Minister.

The Minister noted that the children and young people’s panel will be involved in the following stages of the recruitment process for the Ombudsman for Children:
Developing, taking part in, and evaluating a role play with candidates;
Participating in the final interview panel.

“My Department will partner with the Public Appointment Service in the provision of appropriate training in role play and interview skills. And finally, the Public Appointment Service will oversee the appropriate and respectful involvement of a number of children and young people from the panel in role play sessions with candidates and of two young people in the interview process,” concluded the Minister.


Editors Notes

The involvement of children in identifying qualities for an Ombudsman for Children occurs in many countries. It is now recognised as good practice to appropriately involve children and young people in the recruitment processes for an Ombudsman for Children.