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Delivering Social Change for Children and Young People

The current ten year strategy for children and young people "Our Children and Young People - Our Pledge" which is due to expire in 2016 provides the overall strategic direction for all of the work which the Executive takes forward to improve children's lives.
In January 2014, a consultation document, "Delivering Social Change for Children and Young People" was published for public consultation. The consultation document set out draft proposals to integrate the Executive's child poverty strategy with the ten year strategy for children and young people and our work to deliver our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In July 2014, following feedback from that consultation, Ministers took the decision to lay a Child Poverty Strategy 2014-2017 separately, and to engage further with stakeholders in the development of a new strategy for children and young people under the Delivering Social Change umbrella.
Initial work has now commenced to bring forward the development of a new Children and Young People's Strategy utilising a co-design process, listening to the views of stakeholders and building on the strategic outcomes of the current strategy that our children are:
  • Healthy;
  • Enjoying, learning and achieving;
  • Living in safety and with stability;
  • Experiencing economic and environmental well-being;
  • Contributing positively to community and society; and
  • Living in a society which respects their rights.

The Aims of the New DSC Children and Young People Strategy

The new strategy will aim to:
  1. Ensure that children and young people are central to every policy decision made by Government which could impact on their lives;
  2. Ensure every proposal has evidence-based planned outcomes, which can be measured against its positive impact on the quality of our children’s lives;
  3. Build on the six high level outcomes of the current strategy; and
  4. Further embrace within the new strategy the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Related Issues

Two recent key issues will have an impact on the development of the new Children and Young People’s Strategy:
  • The Private Members Bill (PMB).  Work is being taken forward to provide amendments to the PMB on co-operation on Children’s Services;
  • The Executive decision of 22 January 2015 to establish a Department of Education (DE) from 2016.  The new department will continue the existing functions of DE, along with a range of children’s services including OFMDFM’s policy responsibilities for the Childcare Strategy and for children and young people.  The definition of children’s services transferring to this new department will need further refinement, though it is agreed that child protection will remain with the Department of Health.

Contact us

You can contact the Children and Young People's Unit using the information below.
Children and Young People's Unit
Room E3.19 Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SR
Telephone: 028 9052 3423
Textphone: 028 9052 2526