22 Nov 2005

NICCY calls for young people to be at the heart of the Review of Public Administration

Changes announced under the Review of Public Administration offer a real opportunity to benefit the lives of those under 18, the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams said today.

The Commissioner also renewed his call for children and young people’s participation as massive changes were announced in the review.

Mr Williams said it was vital that young people are involved in the proposed changes and be encouraged to participate in the new structures in health, social services, education and other services that affect their lives.

“It is essential that the people planning the changes to our administrative structures remember that the children now at primary school, the young people starting post-primary education will be the people who feel the greatest impact of any proposed changes,” he said.

“We must all make sure the new bodies work together and focus on outcomes for children and young people – children and young people aren't that worried how they receive services; they just want to know that when they need support, help or care that it will be there for them.”

The Commissioner also emphasised the need for young people to be given an active role in new structures.

“So many public services impact on the lives of children and young people that it would be lax of the proposed new structures not to include young people in the changes and make real provision for them to participate when they are established.”

Mr. Williams pledged to monitor the change process to make sure that the best interests of children and young people are safeguarded.

Notes for Editors

  • Full details of the proposed changes under the Review can be found at www.rpani.gov.uk
  • Further information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People can be found at www.niccy.org.