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Children's Strategy

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

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Frances Fitzgerald

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Snippet Contents:

My Department is developing a new strategy for children and young people. It will build on Our Children - Their Lives, Ireland’s first children’s strategy which was published in 2000 and it will cover the 5-year period from 2013 to 2018.
In keeping with my Department’s responsibilities for children and young people, the new Children and Young People’s Policy Framework is being developed in a holistic way which will comprehend the continuum of the life-course from infancy through to early and middle childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. It will be the overarching Framework under which policy and services for children and young people will be developed and implemented in the State.
The Framework will use a model in which the lives of children and young people will be supported by three age-cohort strategies:
National Early Year’s Strategy – focusing on the under sixes
National Children’s Strategy – focusing on all up to 18 year olds
National Youth Strategy – focuses on the age range 10/12 years up to 25 years
Each of the three strategies under the Framework will share a common set of principles, common set of themes and a common implementation structure.
My Department undertook a public consultation in 2012 and received 1,000 submissions. An interim analysis of these submissions has been completed and a final report is expected by the end of this month. A Children and Young People's consultation has also been carried out and attracted 67,000 replies. The output from this consultation with children and young people was published last year. There have been ongoing consultations with organisations represented on the National Children's Advisory Committee (NCAC).
Consultations with other Government Departments are ongoing and they are expected to be completed in the coming month. Discussions with other Departments have sought to identify concrete responses to priorities identified by children and young people and the general public in areas such as:
- health and well being
- education
- economic security and poverty
- parenting and family support
- environment
- safety
- sports and recreation and
- media, arts and culture
All of these consultations are feeding into the development of the Framework by my Department and will allow the Framework to be completed in the coming months.
I anticipate that the final draft of the Framework will be presented to Government for approval later this year.