Child poverty

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Strategies for carers, children

John Perry, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, speaking on behalf of the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, told Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG, Laois – Offaly) that the Programme for Government contained a commitment to develop a carer’s strategy, but he wanted to clarify that there was no completed draft strategy awaiting publication (Dail Eireann, debates, 14th July 2011, 826).  A significant amount of work had been done by the previous cross-departmental working group, which met six times in 2008 but because of the prevailing economic situation, it was not possible to agree targets or time limits.  Economic difficulties had intensified and while the government was committed to developing a strategy, it would not be easy and would have to take account of our IMF and EU commitments.  It was not possible to outline the contents of the strategy as it had not been drafted, but the commitment to develop it was an important one.

Earlier, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, told Brian Stanley (SF-Laois Offaly) that the new children’s strategy would be published in mid 2012 (Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 306).  It would cover 2012-2017.  In April, she had launched a consultation with children and young people.  The issues facing children now compared to those of the previous strategy Our children, their lives (2000) were quite different, such as childhood obesity, child poverty and consumerism. She told the Dail that she was developing a new youth policy framework, whose aims were to articulate policy objectives; enhance the development, participation and support for 10-24 year olds; and provide greater coordination and coherence in youth services and provision and this would also be published in 2012.

> Related references:

> Services for children in care: Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 200-202;

> Development of services for future early childhood care and education: Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 202-3; 205-6.

> Ireland’s report to the United Nations under the Convention on the rights of the child: Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 203-4.

> Progress in establishing new child welfare agency: Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 300, 310.

> Policies and services for homeless children: Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 299-300; 304-5.

> New Children first guidelines for welfare of children: Dail Eireann, Debates, 21st July 2011, 1224-5 (earlier, Dail Eireann, Debates, 12th July 2011, 196-8).