Children’s Services Budgets ‘Mapped’ in Northern Ireland

16 October 2015 News
photo of a blackboard with the word budget written

Budget report launch - group picture.JPG

Report data will help profiling and funding for services

TODAY (October 16th, 2015) the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, will launch a groundbreaking report on where money is being spent on children’s services across all government departments.

This is the first time an entire devolved region of the United Kingdom has mapped expenditure on children’s services.

With October 17th the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty the Commissioner said the report was timely as it will help government assess how they plan children’s services ahead of the programme for government and spending reviews.

“This research comes at a time when austerity, cuts and changes to working tax credits are threatening both families’ income and the services they need,” said Koulla. “Now we can see where money is being spent on children’s services, and how it is being spent.

“This is a tangible move towards transparency in budgeting for children and all government departments are to be congratulated for their efforts in providing detailed information.”

“This report provides a snapshot of expenditure that will enable government and those working for, and on behalf of, children and young people to compare with spending elsewhere, and to track changes in spending over time.”

NICCY Budget Report - cover.jpgPrepared by the Dartington Social Research Unit the report – entitled ‘Fund Mapping: the investment of public resources in the wellbeing of children and young people’ – was commissioned by NICCY and Atlantic Philanthropies.

Paul Murray on behalf of Atlantic Philanthropies said: “We hope that the findings in this report provide baseline estimates against which to measure progress to help bring about an increase in the proportion of expenditure on prevention and early intervention, especially evidence-based prevention which is Atlantic’s particular interest.

“Atlantic is grateful to the staff of Dartington Social Research Unit for this timely and important piece of work.”

The Commissioner added: “The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has made it clear that identifying levels of public resources spent on children and young people is an important step in demonstrating whether governments are meeting their obligations in fulfilling children’s rights.

“Many have argued that this couldn’t be done, that it was impossible to bring this level of transparency to government budgets, to allow us to see where the money is being spent. However, the Dartington Social Research Unit has worked closely with government departments to gather, and analyse existing data and in so doing, has moved us closer to achieving greater transparency and accountability in children’s budgeting across Government. “


Notes to Editors:

  • The Dartington Social Research Unit (DSRU) is an independent charity that brings science and evidence to bear on policy and practice in children’s services to improve the health and development of children and young people.
  • The Atlantic Philanthropies is a limited life foundation whose grant making has been shaped, and continues to be shaped, by its Founding Chairman Chuck Feeney’s approach to philanthropy, characterised by personal engagement, modesty, pragmatism, good-value investments and his belief in Giving While Living.

In keeping with the founder’s Giving While Living philosophy, AP believes in making large investments to capitalise on significant opportunities to solve urgent problems now, so they are less likely to become larger, more entrenched and more expensive challenges later. In so doing, they also seek to encourage others of significant wealth to engage in major philanthropic pursuits in their lifetime.

  • The Committee on the Rights of the Child is currently elaborating on a General Comment on article 4 of the Convention and specifically on public spending and the rights of the child. This draws upon the Day of General Discussion (DGD) on: “Resources for the Rights of the Child – Responsibility of States”, which the Committee held in 2007.