Friday 20 July 2012: For immediate release
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ALLIANCE
By Tanya Ward, Chief Executive
Alliance Calls on Government to Provide Resources and Budget for New Child and Family Support Agency
“The Children’s Rights Alliance today welcomes the Report of the Task Force on the Child and Family Support Agency, due to be established next year, and calls on Government to now provide it with adequate resources and budget. This Agency will overhaul our child protection and family support services, and bring us closer to realising our vision of making Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child.
“We are particularly pleased that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, stated today that the new Agency will ‘represent the practical application of a new approach towards 'proportionate' service responses – an approach which will also be at the heart of the Constitutional Amendment on Child Protection, which will be put before the people later this year’. The Alliance has long called for a comprehensive amendment.
“Today’s Report provides a blueprint for change, but without clear resources and budgetary commitment from Government, the Agency will never be able to live up to its full potential.
“The emphasis on early intervention and community based services, all within a single entity, is also welcome. Early intervention and prevention is a crucial aspect of the Agency’s work, and must not play second fiddle to fire-fighting and crisis-driven child protection cases. Family support that is available to all families, at local level, will do much to prevent families in difficulties from reaching boiling point. We believe a balance between family support and child protection will mean that this Agency will be for all children and for all families, without stigma.
“Other key recommendations of note, include the need for a service that will be child centred, will put the best interests of the child as the primary consideration, and have due regard to the ‘wishes and feelings’ of children.”
For more information, please call:
Carys Thomas, Communications and Public Affairs Director
Tel: 01 662 9400
Mobile: 087 7835057 (please use this number today)