It is a national policy imperative (DCYA 2014) that services in each county in Ireland work together to consider the needs of the child and youth population and collaborate in evidence-informed responses to those needs. That is the government mandate underpinning the Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC).
The Dun-Laoghaire RathdownCYPSC is the most recently established CYPSC structure in Ireland. To develop the CYPSC interagency strategic structures and county plan, over 140 services were facilitated to engage in a data gathering, needs analysis and interagency planning process. The county’s first CYPSC plan was due to be launched in May 2020 but has been postponed until September 2020 due to COVID-19. However here are some key points from the forthcoming CYPSC plan.
Children and young people aged 0 to 24 years of age constitute almost a third (69,581) of the entire population of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (219,018). See here for a comprehensive socio-demographic report on the child and youth population in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.
- Many of the young citizens in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR) are fortunate to enjoy a good quality of life with the couny reporting the highest rates of population self-reported good health as well as the highest progression rates to third level education (91.6% of all Leaving Certificate students)
- However, a significant number of children and young people (3,671) live in the 33 ‘Small Areas’ of socio-economic disadvantage dispersed across in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, particularly concentrated in South-East areas such as Loughlinstown, Ballybrack, Rathsallagh and Shanganagh.
- Socio-economic disadvantage redners these child populations more vulnerable to negative outcomes such as poverty, homelessness, early school leaving, social emotional problems and ill health. This vulnerability is exacerbated by factors particular to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown such as the county having the highest rental and housing prices (CSO 2016) as well as the most expensive childcare rates in Ireland (Pobal 2019)
- Additionally there is a cohort of children and young people who highly vulnerable to poor health, educational, social and economic outcomes due to adverse childhood experiences such as emotional and physical neglect and abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, parental addiction or parental divorce. Those traumatic experiences are structural, systemic issues which are not related to where children live, and which cannot be remedied by a simple intervention by one service.
There are an extensive range of services supporting the health, education, safety, economic security and participation of children and young people. See here for a services listing compiled by the DLR CYPSC.
- Young citizens consulted by the DLR CYPSC stated they would like a stronger voice in the development of services in the county and wished to engage in this through participation in the CYPSC.
- Young people additionally recommended that the CYPSC plan would prioritise strengthening protective factors for the child and youth population such as promoting prevention and early intervention initiatives, social-emotional wellbeing, healthy relationships, mental health, online safety, educational transitions and career guidance.
Therefore the first CYPSC plan for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown aims proactively support those children and young people experiencing structural, familial or individual challenges to accessing the services and the supports required to achieve good quality of life outcomes.
The plan also aspires to build the capacity of services in a range of sectors to hear and respond to the voice of their diverse young service users in meaningful ways and to build the capacity of young leaders to participate in the various CYPSC structures and initiatives.
A summary of the 27 areas of unmet need and the agreed priority areas for interagency collaboration to address these needs by DLR CYPSC Subgroups from 2020-2023 is now available. The DLR CYPSC plan will detail the context, rationale and implementation plans for these 27 key areas of strategic focus.
To find another CYPSC click here.