However Mr McNeany said NICCY will continue to press Government for more resources to be targeted to children and young people where there still are some significant areas of need.
“Overall, there is a lot to be welcomed in this package for children and young people,” he said. “We are particularly pleased that some of the areas NICCY has highlighted to Government have been addressed.
“These include counselling services for pupils in schools, improvements in early years’ services, support for children and young people with special needs, and work on child protection.”
Mr McNeany said ”The proposals in this package for children and young people will go some way to address the gaps in what is available, but I believe that there still remains a disparity between what children and young people receive in Northern Ireland and what is available to children in the rest of the UK.
“Today NICCY will be writing to the Secretary of State to congratulate him on the many positive aspects of this package, but also to highlight the areas where more work needs to be done.”
Mr McNeany also welcomed the announcement of an additional £14.6 million for voluntary and community groups working with disadvantaged groups.
“NICCY has consistently alerted Government to the problems that would be created for children and young people by ending the many positive programmes developed under the Executive Programme Fund for children. We welcome the news that they can continue to grow and provide the valuable services that make a real difference in areas affected by social exclusion.”
Notes for Editors
MEDIA ENQUIRIES For more information please contact Andrew McGall, Communication Officer at NICCY on 028 9031 1616 or firstname.lastname@example.org