Home > National policy framework for children and young people.

Keane, Martin (2014) National policy framework for children and young people. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 51, Autumn 2014, pp. 5-6.

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The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) recently published the long awaited national policy framework for children and young people, which will run from 2014 to 2020.1 The framework sets out an ambitious plan to achieve five national outcomes, which are that all Irish children and young people:

  1. are active and healthy, with positive physical and mental wellbeing,
  2. are achieving their full potential in all areas of learning and development,
  3. are safe and protected from harm,
  4. have economic security and opportunity, and
  5. are connected, respected and contributing to their world.

To support children and young people to achieve these outcomes, the framework includes a commitment to transform existing policies, services and resources to be more effective, and sets out six aims to achieve this transformation: 

  1. Support parents in the important task of parenting
  2. Provide earlier interventions and prevention efforts
  3. Build a culture that listens and involve children and young people in key decisions affecting their lives
  4. Ensure quality services that are outcome-driven, effective, efficient and trusted
  5. Enable effective transitions at key developmental stages and between child and adult services
  6. Improve cross-government and interagency collaboration and coordination

The framework includes a small number of key indicators, which will be used to measure progress in several areas; a more extensive set of indicators will be developed in the course of 2014. Table 1 lists the indicators relating to substance use among young people and closely related correlates of substance use that will be used to assess progress towards achieving outcome 1, which relates to the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

The framework adopts both a universal (general population of children and young people) and a targeted (children and young people with elevated risk factors) approach. Given that children and young people make up 34% of the overall population of Ireland, it is important that policy makers both respond to the specific needs of over a third of the national population with investment in evidence-based policies, and also recognise that a significant minority of young people are at an elevated risk of poorer outcomes compared to the general population of young people and respond with approaches targeting this minority.

1 Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2014) Better outcomes brighter futures: The national policy framework for children and young people 2014–2020. Dublin: Stationery Office. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/21773/

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Issue Title
Issue 51, Autumn 2014
October 2014
Page Range
pp. 5-6
Health Research Board
Issue 51, Autumn 2014

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