We would like to thank you all for your support on our recent campaign to retain the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in this new Government. Children and youth affairs were brought into the centre of political discussion and negotiations thanks to your efforts to keep them firmly on the agenda.
Retaining the Department will mean that the Government is well positioned to respond to the new challenges that Covid-19 presents us with and that many of you have been working against for the past few months. The expanded remit to include equality, disability and integration will mean that the Department has the potential to have a much bigger role to play across government. However, like many of our members we are concerned about initial indications that ‘youth affairs’ will be dropped from the title of the new Department. It is vital that youth affairs remain central to this Department and we hope it see this reflected in the title and the portfolio.
The Children’s Rights Alliance warmly welcomes the appointment of Roderic O Gorman, TD, as the new Minister of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability and Integration. Deputy O’Gorman is well-placed to build on the work of Dr Katherine Zappone TD who held the Children and Youth Ministry over the last four years. There are pressing issues for children because of the impact of Covid19 including increasing levels of child poverty, significant educational welfare issues, increasing demands on child protection services and growing levels of poor youth mental health, and the incoming Minister will have to marshal significant resources to address these issues. At the same time, the expansion of the Ministry will give Deputy O’Gorman an even greater role in addressing inequalities experienced by many children and young people today.
We would also like to thank you as members and friends of the Alliance, your engagement with us during the election and throughout Covid-19 has helped enhance our advocacy efforts in securing necessary changes and responses for children and young people across the country. We look forward to continuing this work with you over the coming months.
Children’s Rights Alliance
7 Red Cow Lane
Ph: +353 1 662 9400