The Children and Young People’s Strategy will be the overarching framework, under which all services provided to children and young people in Northern Ireland and all issues impacting on their lives will sit. The Children’s Services Co-operation Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 is a significant legislative development which aims to improve the well-being of children and young people in a manner which realises their rights and places obligations on Departments / Agencies to co-operate with each other in order to contribute to the improvement of outcomes for children and young people. The Act places a statutory obligation on Government to adopt a Children and Young People’s Strategy.
NICCY has been working closely with Government on the development of the Children and Young People’s Strategy and we have provided advice at a number of stages. NICCY believes that the Strategy is vitally important to the lives of all of our children and young people in Northern Ireland. We encourage as many people, organisations and children and young people to respond to the consultation. It is vital that the Strategy is informed by the voices of everyone with an interest in children and young people’s issues, including children and young people themselves. For this reason NICCY held a number of workshops and conducted an e-survey to capture the views of key stakeholders who work with and for children and young people and with children and young people themselves through the NICCY Youth Panel in May 2016. Following this extensive engagement, NICCY produced and submitted written advice for Government. It was also informed by the UNCRC and the recommendations and advice of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in particular its 2016 Concluding Observations.
This Advice is divided into four sections, each one is summarised below, with a link where the documents can be accessed.