05 April 2011

Minister asks for views of children in Lucan & Clondalkin during Consultation Week (4th-8th April)

Local Minister, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has launched a consultation to discover the issues of most importance to children and young people to inform development of the new National Children’s Strategy (2012-2017). The consultation will take place in the week Monday, 4th to Friday 8th April. Speaking at the launch, Minister Fitzgerald said: ‘my Department will lead action across Government in relation to children and young people and take decisions in the be-st interest of children across Dublin Mid West and across Ireland.

‘Specifically, the Department of Children will lead the development of harmonised policy and quality, integrated service delivery for children and young people and will carry out specific functions in the social care field and drive coordinated actions across a range of sectors, including health, education, youth justice, sport, arts and culture. My presence, as Minister for Children, at the Cabinet table will enable and support this approach in a seamless way,’ added the Minister.

‘I am asking principals of the primary and secondary schools throughout Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Newcastle, Saggart and Rathcoole to give their students the opportunity to answer this survey and make sure their responses are sent back to the Department.

‘I am delighted to launch this consultation, which is one important element and approach in the development of the National Children’s Strategy. The Strategy is based on the structure of the first National Children’s Strategy (2000-2010) and rooted in the vision of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The publication of the new National Children’s Strategy, which we aim to complete by Autumn 2011, will give us the opportunity to set out a clear roadmap for the next five years,’ continued Minister Fitzgerald.

‘In essence, this consultation process will reach every school and Youthreach Centre in the country, with questionnaires asking children and young people what’s good, what’s not good and what they would change about their lives in Ireland today.’

‘‘A research team from Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) has been contracted to manage and run the national consultation in cooperation with my Department. All consultation data will be analysed by the TCD research team and fed into the development of the new Strategy,’ she added.

A report of the children’s consultation process will be compiled and published online.