My Department has continued to support implementation of the National Participation Framework for Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making which it published earlier this year. It does this through capacity building measures and training provided by Hub na nÓg, the Department’s centre of excellence, and co-ordination of various activities to support children and young people’s participation in decision-making.
These measures provide support to practitioners and policy makers working across all settings relevant to children and young people’s lives.
Earlier this year, phase one of a Capacity Building Grant was allocated by my Department to Arts organisations, Disability Service providers, Homeless Service providers, Traveller Service providers, the Youth Justice sector, and Early Learning & Care and School Age Childcare Services.
Alongside this €150,000 grant funding for resources, organisations undertook training from Hub na nÓg. The training supports them to listen to children and young people, while involving them in decision making in their day-to-day services and activities, and to develop resources based on the training.
In 2022, phase two of the Capacity Grant scheme will see Sporting Organisations and Youth Services included.
Additionally, Hub na nÓg is continuing to engage bilaterally with government departments, agencies and key stakeholders, providing support to ensure policy making and other decision-making processes that impact on the lives of children meet the standards set out in the Participation Framework. Hub na nÓg is furthermore working with key academic partners across all sectors, to develop a module on the participation of children and young people in decision-making for all professionals who work (or will work) with or on behalf of, children and young people.
This Framework and the associated capacity building measures will continue to play a vital long term role in ensuring that Ireland is a country where all children and young people are respected and listened to, and where their views are taken on board routinely in the public services offered to them, as citizens of today and not just as the adults of tomorrow.