Written answers

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Equality Issues

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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148. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the steps he proposes to take to address any or all inequalities affecting children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59741/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The Department of Social Protection has lead policy responsibility for child poverty. My Department has taken a number of steps to address child poverty and associated issues.

Recently I established a new unit to lead on cross Government coordination of the EU Child Guarantee actions and on the development of a subsequent Action Plan. The aim of the Guarantee

is to prevent and combat social exclusion by guaranteeing access of children at risk of poverty or social exclusiona set of key services.

In 2014, my Department launched Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, (BOBF) which represented the first cross-Government overarching national children’s policy framework for children and young people 0–24 years. BOBF concluded at the end of 2020 and the final Annual Report for 2020 is currently being finalised. My Department is currently considering a successor framework.

My Department is preparing Ireland’s state report on measures taken to give effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The process involves preparation and engagement with other Government Departments, civil society stakeholders and Children and Young People and is due for submission in February 2022 with the follow-up hearing scheduled for September 2022.

In addition, my Department is reviewing The Child Care Act 1991 which seeks to promote the welfare of children who may not receive adequate care and protection. Proposals presented to Government include embedding the child’s best interests as the paramount principle to be observed in all decisions taken under the Act.

Finally, my Department has developed the ‘First 5 Strategy’ which is Ireland’s first ever whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families. Amongst the aims of the ambitious ten-year plan are to provide a package of measures to tackle early childhood poverty and a new model of parenting support.


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