Children and Young People's Participation Support Team
The DCYA Children and Young People’s Participation Support Team comprises the staff in the DCYA Citizen Participation Unit, three regional Children and Young People’s Participation Officers and a Participation Co-ordinator/Administrator from two national youth organisations (Foróige and Youth Work Ireland).
The regional Participation Officers:
- Provide support, information and training to all 31 local authorities in the running of effective Comhairle na nÓg;
- Support the operation and development of the Dáil na nÓg process;
- Support other DCYA children and young people’s participation initiatives.
The reports of independent evaluations of the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund highlight the value of the support, information and training provided by the three regional Participation Officers.
- They note the marked improvement in the operation of many Comhairle na nÓg resulting from the support provided by the Participation Officers.
- They also note the important role played by these officers in creating a strong link between Comhairle na nÓg at local level and the DCYA at national level, including the provision of excellent information on expenditure under the Development Fund.
In addition to their direct work with organisers of the 31 Comhairle na nÓg, the DCYA Participation Officers are involved in the planning and management of a wide range of children’s participation initiatives in co-operation with the DCYA Citizen Participation Unit, including:
- The annual national information, training and networking conference for key local authority personnel and organisers of Comhairle na nÓg;
- The annual regional networking events for young members of Comhairle na nÓg;
- Development of the application form and criteria for funding for the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund;
- Evaluation of applications under the DCYA Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund;
- Preparation of six-monthly and annual progress reports on their work in supporting the operation of Comhairle na nÓg and other initiatives;
- Co-operating with DCYA in the development of methodologies and conducting of consultations with children young people on a wide range of issues;
- Collaboration with the DCYA in the development of policy and guidance on best-practice in children and young people’s participation.