Wicklow has a very high population of children and young people as evidenced from the 2011 statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Similar to the entire country, families in Wicklow are experiencing increasing levels of disadvantage due to the current economic situation. Statutory, Voluntary and Community organisations and agencies working with children, young people and families across the county are working hard to meet increasing demands with limited resources. In so doing a number of interagency initiatives are already in evidence in the county.
Wicklow is now in the fourth year of implementation and so far we have overseen a number of positive developments such as:
- Significant increase and improvement in play infrastructure,
- Re-establishment of the Local Sports Partnership in Co. Wicklow,
- Increase in the number of Gardaí trained to deliver the Garda School Programme,
- Regular engagement between the Community Policing Teams and young people through sporting and other clubs,
- Training in literacy and numeracy (for children) and family literacy (for parents) for early childhood care and education professionals,
- Promoting the ‘Help my Kids Learn’ literacy website,
- Collating and sharing information in relation to the delivery of parenting courses in the county,
- Multi-agency application under the Parents Plus initiative,
- Establishment of the Prevention Partnership and Family Support Steering Committee which oversees the implementation of Meitheal,
- Supporting the successful ABC programme application for Supporting Parents and Early Childhood Services [SPECS] in Bray
- Maintaining a high level of commitment from senior management in all agencies.
Many challenges lie ahead including:
- Maintaining current levels of service in light of the current economic situation,
- Providing additionality to the work currently being undertaken by agencies,
- Spreading awareness of the CYPSC initiative to ensure a strong commitment to interagency working.
Wicklow CYPSC is currently planning for its new three year plan and welcomes input from interested organisations working with children, young people and families in the county.
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