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Pike, Brigid (2016) First national youth strategy launched. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 56, Winter 2016, p. 14.

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On 8 October 2015 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly TD, launched the National youth strategy 2015–2020.1 Ireland’s first-ever youth strategy, it sets out the government’s aim and objectives for young people aged 10 to 24 years, so that they can be active and healthy, achieve their full potential in learning and development, be safe and protected from harm, have economic security and opportunity, and be connected and contribute to their world. The strategy focuses particularly on young people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, the poorest outcomes.

 

The National Youth Strategy identifies some 50 actions to be delivered by government departments, state agencies and others, including voluntary youth services, between 2015 and 2017. The actions include access to online youth mental health services, a national obesity policy and action plan, youth entrepreneurship initiatives in schools and youth work settings, and opportunities for young people furthest from the labour market. In launching the National Youth Strategy, the Minister announced a new Youth Employability Initiative. This €600,000 initiative will provide grants to voluntary youth services for programmes that target disadvantaged young people to improve their employability.  The initiative will target young people who are most at risk of unemployment and who are not in education, employment or training and will provide programmes for them to enhance their skills.   It is anticipated that up to 20–25 new youth projects and an estimated 200–300 young people could be assisted by this initiative.

 

The wider context

The National Youth Strategy has been developed within the context of the Better outcomes, brighter futures: the national policy framework for children & young people 2014–2020, which is Ireland’s first national policy framework for children and young people aged 0–24 years.2 This policy framework captures all children and youth policy commitments across all government departments and agencies in relation to five outcome areas and six key transformational goals.3

 

As well as the National Youth Strategy described above, two other strategies are being rolled out within the context of this over-arching policy framework:

The National strategy on children and young people’s participation in decision-making, 2015–2020, was published in June 2015.4 The action plan for 2015 published with this strategy includes the following commitments (p. 48):

  • ‘Young people will be centrally involved in the development and management of drug and alcohol-free venues and programmes for young people (e.g. youth cafés, alcohol-free music and dance venues, and sports venues), with an emphasis on those most at risk.
  • The Health Service Executive (HSE) will develop mechanisms, including consultation and feedback mechanisms, for the participation of service users, families and carers in the decision-making processes of mental health services for young people at local and national levels.
  • Children and young people will be consulted by services seeking to respond to parental substance misuse or substance misuse in families as targeted by the ‘Hidden Harm’ initiative.
  • Children and young people will be included in consultations with communities to inform the development of Primary Care Services. 
  • The National early-years strategy has yet to be published. 

 

1 Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2015) National youth strategy 2015–2020. Dublin: Government Publications. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24606/#

2 Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2014) Better outcomes, brighter futures: the national policy framework for children & young people (2014–2020). Dublin: Government Publications. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/21773/

3 For an overview of the outcomes and aims, see Keane M (2014) National policy framework for children and young people Drugnet Ireland (51): 5–6. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/22906/

4 Department of Children and Youth Affairs (2015) National strategy on children and young people’s participation in decision-making, 2015–2020. Dublin: Government Publications. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24612/

Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Policy
Issue Title
Issue 56, Winter 2016
Date
January 2016
Page Range
p. 14
Publisher
Health Research Board
Volume
Issue 56, Winter 2016
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