The Children and Young People’s Strategy Team in the Department of Education (DE) was previously part of OFMdFM but moved to DE in May 2016 as part of the restructuring arrangements agreed under the Fresh Start Agreement.

Children and Young People’s Strategy - 2019-2029

On behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive, the Department of Education has lead responsibility for developing the new Strategy which aims to build on the achievements of the current ten year strategy.

The Aim of the new Strategy is “To work together to improve the well-being of all children and young people in Northern Ireland - delivering positive long lasting outcomes”

Children's Services Co Operation Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

The Strategy has been developed in the context of the Children’s Services Co-operation Act (NI) 2015, (CSCA) which places a duty on the Executive to adopt a strategy to improve the well-being of children and young people, and requires that for the purpose of determining children’s well-being, regard is to be had to the relevant provision of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Act defines the well-being of children and young people against eight characteristics including: physical and mental health; living in safety and with stability; learning and achievement; economic and environmental well-being; the enjoyment of play and leisure; living in a society in which equality of opportunity and good relations are promoted; the making by children and young people of a positive contribution to society; and living in a society which respects their rights.

The Strategy seeks to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people that align with all eight characteristics in the Act.

(draft) Programme for Government
The CSCA forms part of the legislative framework alongside the (draft) Programme for Government (PfG) which must be delivered by departments and statutory authorities.  The PfG has 12 strategic outcomes, one of which is that ‘we give our children the best start in life’. This is to be achieved through the implementation of the Children and Young People’s Strategy.  The eight outcomes in the Children and Young People’s Strategy are not additional to the outcomes in PfG, rather they mirror the PfG outcomes, however, they are described in terms of the particular needs of children.

Cross-departmental Children and Young People’s Strategy 2019-2029

Pending the formation of an Executive to adopt the Executive Strategy, a cross-departmental Children and Young People’s Strategy has been published. This sets out the framework for progressing children’s issues until an Executive is in place and the Executive Strategy is published. The Strategy is available online and hard copies will be distributed in the New Year.  The Strategy is designed to provide an overarching holistic structure to drive forward and monitor how departments are progressing the eight outcomes to improve the well-being of children and young people.

A wide range of government policies, strategies, programmes and services more specific to different aspects of children and young people’s lives underpin and work to deliver on the strategy; these are either currently in place in departments or under development.

Children and Young People’s Strategy 2019-2029

An easy read version of the Strategy is also available.

Children and Young People’s Strategy 2019-2029 (Easy read)

A children and young people’s version of the Strategy is under development and will be available shortly in the New Year.

We would like to thank the young people from the Youth Council who met with us in Banbridge Resource Centre and Brownlow Resource Centre and the NICCY Youth Panel, for their help in designing the logo for the Strategy.

Children and Young People’s Strategy topics

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