Ireland – “The voice of the children and youth I represent will be at the core of the policies I promote”.
By on July 5th, 2011

Please be in prayer for this team as they represent the needs of the children and youth of Ireland….  We ask God for a Spirit of Wisdom to lead well and for a release of the Father’s heart for this next generation….

Minister Frances Fitzgerald announces the formal establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) .

Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, announced the formal establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.   Minister Fitzgerald said “  I am delighted that the Government has taken the decision to establish the Department of Children and Youths Affairs,  a decision which highlights its commitment to the youngest members of Irish society. I am honoured to have been chosen to lead this Department”.

The Minister said “the new Department will be committed to ensuring that every child in Ireland is afforded the opportunity to grow up in a happy and safe environment and to reach their full potential.

The Minister also said “the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will continue with its tradition of consulting with the children and youth of Ireland to develop policies appropriate to their needs”. Minister Fitzgerald, referring to the recent successful consultation process undertaken to inform development of the new National Children’s Strategy (2012-2017), said “the voice of the children and youth I represent will be at the core of the policies I promote”.

The Minister stated that the key areas of achievement for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs over the next five years will include:

  • Implementation of a more robust policy framework for children and young people, including a referendum on children’s rights, a National Children’s Strategy (2012-2017), a Youth Policy Framework, a Family Support Policy and implementation of Children’s Services Committees.
  • Improved child welfare and protection services, including establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency and development of consistent standards for vulnerable children and families.
  • Provision of high quality early childhood care and education, including ensuring that the free pre-school year is firmly established as an essential building block of early care and education.
  • Strengthened supports for children and young people so that they can fully engage in active learning.
  • Development of policies and structures on participation by children and young people in decisions that affect their individual and collective lives.
  • Implementation of a national programme of research and information, including the National Research and Data Strategy and the National Longitudinal Study of Children.
  • Improved physical and emotional health of children and young people, and reduced inequalities in children’s lives

The Minister outlined the five core principles that will underpin the work of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs as:

  1. Be child and youth centred, with children, young people and families at the heart of its work. Childhood and youth will be respected and valued as important life stages.
  2. Adopt a holistic approach to all children, their lives and wellbeing, and retain a strong focus on children and families with additional needs.
  3. Place the five national outcomes for children in Ireland (Agenda for Children’s Services, 2007) at the centre of policy and service delivery.
  4. Support prevention and early intervention approaches that help children and their families realise their true potential.
  5. Work collaboratively across agencies and departments to improve outcomes for children and young people.


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