One Family strongly welcomes the publication of Better Outcomes: Brighter Futures – the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 which was launched today by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, in Dublin Castle and attended by our CEO Karen Kiernan. Better Outcomes: Brighter Futures aims to get 70,000 children in Ireland out of poverty by 2020.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Fitzgerald said: “The purpose of this framework is to coordinate policy across departments to achieve the best for children.” Commitment 4.4 of the Framework is to: Reform the One-Parent Family Payment Scheme so that lone parents have access to a range of supports and services designed to provide them with pathways to work while acknowledging their caring responsibilities.
While both of these positive expressions are also welcome, it is disappointing to note that responsibility for Commitment 4.4 seems allocated only to the Department of Social Protection (DSP). One Family has been calling for cross-departmental collaboration in relation to the daily realities that affect lone parents and their children as part of our 10 Solutions Campaign with our Solution 9 being Joined-up Delivery. You can learn more about 10 Solutions here.
The overarching focus of the Framework is to commit Government Departments to working together in achieving five outcomes for children and young people aged 0-24.
These five outcomes are that children and young people:
- Are active and healthy, with positive physical and mental well being,
- Are achieving their full potential in all areas of learning and development,
- Are safe and protected from harm,
- Have economic security and opportunity,
- Are connected, respected and contributing to their world.
Childhood obesity and food poverty are two key areas highlighted, as are child protection and welfare and easier access for young people to mental health services. The Framework also aims to reduce the harm often caused to children by court proceedings. Following closely on the recent launch of our Key Learnings and the Evaluation of the pilot Child Contact Centres we ran for over two years, this too is something we very much welcome.
People in lone parent households tend to have the lowest disposable income out of all households in the state (EU-SILC 2010) and those living in lone parent households continue to experience the highest rates of deprivation with almost 69% of individuals from these households experiencing one or more forms of deprivation (EU-SILC 2010).
One Family positively welcomes the Framework for its potential to effect real change for children and young people as we continue to work towards an end to poverty for all children in Ireland.
Better Outcomes: Brighter Futures – the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 is available to download/read on the DCYA site here.