Seventy-five representatives from a range of agencies working with children and young people in County Tipperary attended a Consultation Workshop in Thurles this Summer.
The event was organised by Tipperary Children and Young People’s Services Committee as part of a major exercise in research and consultation to identify the priority issues for the age cohort, 0-24 years, in the county. It also marked the all-county character of the recently formed CYPSC by bringing together staff from both north and south of the county to share their views on what the needs were.
The workshop opened with an address by Marie Kennedy, Area Manager, Túsla - Child and Family Agency, Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary, who is a Deputy Chair of Tipperary CYPSC. The workshop proceeded with some context setting including the purpose of the workshop and information on the establishment and history to date of the CYPSC.
The attendance at the workshop reflected a substantial portion of the service sectors providing services to children, young people and families in County Tipperary. Of the family support services sector, there were representatives from Barnardos, the Family Resource Centres, and North Tipperary Community Services. Of the youth services, there were representatives from the three main service providers - Waterford & South Tipperary Community Youth Service, Foróige, and Youthwork Ireland Tipperary. The two Tipperary Local Development Companies – South Tipperary Development Company and North Tipperary LEADER Partnership were represented. Staff from the Health Service Executive (HSE), Túsla - Child and Family Agency, An Garda Síochána, the County Council and Tipperary Education and Training Board were also in attendance.
After the introduction, the workshop focussed on small group discussions framed around the themes of the five National Outcomes for children and young people namely Active and healthy; Learning and development; Safety and protection from harm; Economic security and opportunity; and Being connected, respected and contributing. The issues identified reflected the breadth of need, as well as the different levels of need, across the five themes.
In relation to the issue of Mental Health, for instance, the need for services for vulnerable adolescents was identified, and also the need for parents to be informed about building the child’s resilience and supporting his personal and social development from an early age.
Similarly in relation to promoting learning, the need to address the difficulties of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) was identified, and also the need to ensure smooth transitions for all children between pre-school, primary school and secondary school stages.
Some of the other areas of concern raised were the exposure of children to inappropriate sexual content in social media; the plight of children of parents with problematical substance or alcohol use; and the difficulties for young people with disabilities in entering the labour market.
All the issues raised in the small group discussion were fed back to a plenary forum and recorded for the future consideration of the CYPSC. The workshop concluded with a closing address by Ger Brophy, Area Manager, Túsla - Child and Family Agency, Limerick/North Tipperary/Clare.
Many thanks to all who attended and participated so actively in activity and discussion.
For more information on Tipperary CYPSC click here.