Children's Rights Alliance express concern over reports that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will be dismantled
Today, it was reported that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs position will be abolished and there will just be one Minister for the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
The news has resurfaced concerns expressed last month by Children’s Rights Alliance along with over 65 of its members who came together to urge the negotiating parties to retain the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and a full Minister (letter available here).
Speaking on the latest reports, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance said, “This is not a win-win. It is far from that. These are two of the biggest policy areas in Government. Both deserve to have a full Minister who can represent and raise these issues at the Cabinet table. Any incoming Minister for Education will need to work at 120% to address the challenges for the education system following Covid19. However, Children and Youth Affairs faces its own challenges including a demand surge in Tusla’ child protection services, rising child poverty, massive funding for childcare reform, funding for youth services, youth justice reform, adoption and fostering. This is a massive list. One Minister only has so much political capital that one area is bound to suffer."
The move raises particular concerns about the ability of the new Government to respond to some of the bigger issues facing children and families that have been exacerbated by Covid19 and the new challenges the public health crisis has created.
“The global pandemic has sent shock waves across the world, but the reality is that there will be serious and significant issues that will only be felt when we emerge out of these initial stages. We are walking towards another recession and carrying with us rising child poverty rates, a volatile housing crisis, increased demands on our health and mental health service, a spike in domestic violence and child protection calls for help and a rocky return to education for many students,” Tanya Ward continued. “Young people need and deserve to have their voice represented at the highest levels of Government as we try navigate our way through this. Over 65 of our members have urged the negotiating parties to retain the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs."
Contact: Emma Archbold Children’s Rights Alliance, Tel: 01-662 9400 / 0879971410, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance is available for interview.
About the Children’s Rights Alliance
• Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: www.childrensrights.ie or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL.
• The Children’s Rights Alliance Helpline is open three days a week, Mondays 10am to 2pm, Wednesdays 2pm to 7pm and Friday 10am to 12 noon. If you have are looking for legal information or advice, please contact us on 01 902 0494 or email email@example.com