Tuesday 29th January 2019
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, today launched the third annual report on the implementation of the actions in the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making, 2015-2020.
The goal of the Strategy is to ensure that children and young people have a voice in their individual and collective lives in their communities, in education, on their health and wellbeing and in legal settings. It focuses on the everyday lives of children and young people and the places and spaces in which they are entitled to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. The strategy is primarily aimed at children and young people under the age of 18, but embraces the voice of young people in the transition to adulthood up to the age of 24.
The progress of commitments in the third Annual Report shows how the National Strategy continues to be implemented. All Government Departments and Agencies are actively progressing agreed actions, with 93% of the agreed actions reaching completion or in progress.
The priority action in the strategy for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs was the establishment of a Children and Young People’s Participation Hub, as a national centre for excellence. Hub na nÓg supports Government Departments, State Agencies and non-governmental organisations to give children and young people a voice in decision-making on issues that affect their lives, with a particular focus on those that are seldom heard.
Under the Hub, consultations have been carried out with children and young people on important issues such as Standards at the Oberstown Children’s Detention Centre, on how the voice of the child will be heard in Adoption proceedings as well as informing a change process for the Garda Youth Diversion Programme. Children have also been consulted on how they want to see national programmes such as Cruinniú na nÓg being rolled out, on the Heritage Council Strategy and on cross-government strategies such as LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy.
Additionally, training has been developed and delivered in collaboration with Sport Ireland for five national sporting bodies and organisations, with HIQA to develop participation methods for use in their inspection processes and with the Arts Council for Creative Associates appointed to support the Creative School initiative.
Minister Zappone said: “Today as I launch the 3rd report on implementation, I am delighted to see such a positive picture of how the Strategy is being implemented across Government. At cross government level, the voice of young people is being listened to and more importantly, having real impact. Children and young people’s participation is now viewed as an invaluable aspect of policy and service development across national and local government.”