A number of major Government Policy documents have influenced Children and Young People’s Services Committees. The full versions of these documents are available in the Resources section of this Website.
The Government launched the national policy framework for children and young people Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures on 16th April 2014. It is the first overarching national policy framework for children and young people aged 0 - 24 years. It recognises that almost all policy has a direct or indirect effect on children and young people's lives, underscores the necessity of interagency working and tasks Children's Services Committees (now Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC)) with a key role in this regard. It contains a range of commitments relating to the role of Children and Young People's Services Committees:
|G2. Ensure planning and co-ordination of parenting supports at local level through Children’s Services Committees (now CYPSC).
|G47. The roll-out nationally of Children’s Services Committees (now CYPSC) in a co-ordinated fashion, connecting them with Local Government and Tusla, The Child and Family Agency.
|G48. Put in place an agreed resourcing framework for Children’s Services Committees (now CYPSC), drawing on existing financial support from the CFA, Local Government and DCYA.
|G52. Streamline planning and decision-making structures at local level, including Children’s Services Committees (now CYPSC), to be consistent with the Government’s public sector reforms, and specifically the alignment of local Government and Local Community Development Committees.
|G62. Deliver the County-level Data Analysis Initiative to support the Children’s Services Committees (now CYPSC).
|G68. Use the intelligence from Children’s Services Committees (now CYPSC) in relation to local need and priorities to inform the allocation of national and local funding streams.
Six Transformational Goals
Better Outcomes Brighter Futures also identifies a number of cross-cutting themes that require strengthening and should underpin how we work so that children and young people will achieve across the five national outcomes. These themes are termed "transformational goals". They are core to ensuring that policies and services are made more effective in achieving better outcomes.
The 6 transformational goals for achieving the national outcomes for children and young people are;
This is a statement of common purpose for change outlining the range of policy innovations and commitments of Government. It made an explicit commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (known as the Ryan Report), published in 2009. The Government's response to the Ryan Report was contained in its Implementation Plan 2009 (see below).
One of the recommendations of the Ryan Report is that managers and staff of the various agencies working
with vulnerable children and families need to co-operate more effectively to ensure children’s needs are met. It also states that reducing risk is not just about responding to problems; it is also about avoiding the circumstances that create risk in the first place. The development of effective local Children and Young People's Services Committees (CYPSC formerly CSCs) is cited as an example of an innovation that could address these issues.
The National Strategy for Research and Data on Children's Lives sets out a strategic direction and comprehensive action plan for research and data on children’s lives in Ireland for 2011 to 2016.
The aim of the strategy is to set out a plan to guide and support the development of research and data around children’s lives over the 5 years (2011-2016) for the purpose of ensuring children and young people benefit from improved understandings of their lives.
In doing so, it works towards the development of a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to the collection, compilation and dissemination of research and data on children’s lives and facilitates the utilisation of good quality, easily accessible, internationally comparable information about the lives of children in Ireland.
The Implementation Plan was developed in response to the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (known as the Ryan Report). The focus of the Implementation Plan is on the recommendations arising from the Ryan Report looking in particular at where services need to improve. It cites Children's Services Committees (now CYPSC) as a mechanism through which agencies can work together to overcome difficulties that arise for children and young people when services aren't strategically and operationally linked.
Towards 2016, Ten-Year Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006-2015 provides an overarching framework to address key challenges that individuals face at each stage of the lifecycle. It includes a specific focus on the needs of children and young adults, and on the implementation of integrated service delivery and interventions at local level. Towards 2016 makes a number of specific commitments in relation to Children's Services Committees (now Children and Young People's Services Committees).
The Agenda for Children’s Services: A Policy Handbook, published in 2007 by the Office of the Minister for Children (now the Department of Children and Youth Affairs) sets out the strategic direction and key goals of public policy in relation to children’s health and social services in Ireland at that time. It applied the principles of the first National Children’s Strategy (2000) to the implementation of policies through service delivery. The core of The Agenda was the promotion of good outcomes for our children. As a way of ensuring a common language of outcomes within children’s services, The Agenda drew together the various types of outcomes found in contemporary children’s policy and presented them as a single list of seven National Service Outcomes for children in Ireland. These seven national outcomes have now become the five national outcomes for children and young people that inform our work today.
The National Children's Strategy (Our Children - their Lives) was a 10-year plan which was published by the Irish Government in 2000 and was the blueprint for improving the lives of children. The Strategy set out the vision of an Ireland ‘where children are respected as young citizens with a valued contribution to make and a voice of their own; where all children are cherished and supported by family and the wider society; where they enjoy a fulfilling childhood and realise their potential’.
The strategy sought to establish a ‘whole child’ perspective at the centre of all relevant policy development and service delivery. An inclusive view of childhood was adopted to assist with the identification of children’s needs and approaches that are best equipped to meet these needs through the empowerment of families and communities in general.
The strategy set out three national goals that reflected the context of children’s lives and the ‘whole child’ perspective. These goals were:
- Children will have a voice in matters which affect them and their views will be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity.
- Children’s lives will be better understood; their lives will benefit from evaluation, research and information on their needs, rights and the effectiveness of services.
- Children will receive quality supports and services to promote all aspects of their development.