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Policy News from Youth Work Ireland

Youth Work Ireland Policy Brief – Autumn 2013

We are broadening the circulation of our Policy Brief this quarter and hope it will be of use to other recipients. As always you can unsubscribe by following the instructions at the end of the email 

Constitutional Convention

Following on from the Children’s and Young Peoples Convention an invitation was issued to young people to attend the main Convention. On June 8 three young people, Roibeard Ó Domhnaill, Joanna Siewierska and Erin Brightwood, who had been involved in the April event attended the June session of the Constitutional Convention in Malahide on the topic of changing the electoral system. The work of the Children and Young People’s Convention was recognised there.
Agenda of the June 8 Meeting

Alcohol and Arthur's Day
Comprehensive changes to the states approach to alcohol regulation are still awaited and overdue. Youth Work Ireland continues to highlight the need for an approach based on public health to this issue. We joined in the wide range of voices expressing concern about the concerted marketing and promotion of alcohol on Arthurs Day
Interview with LMFM on Arthurs Day
Discussing Arthurs Day on TV3

Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting continues to be an issue across the community and voluntary sector. The official waiting time is said to be 9 weeks by Garda authorities but this is subject to seasonal fluctuations which have been as high as 14 weeks recently. E vetting is now promised which will remove a lot of the time consuming processing. This is to be piloted at the end of 2013 and it is believed significant time savings will be realised following full roll out
Parliamentary Question on Garda Vetting

National Lottery
Youth Work relies heavily on the national lottery for its core funding. It has been clear for a long time that the co-financed element of this funding has been cut by a greater amount than the decrease in lottery funding. The impending privatisation of the national lottery has also been a cause of concern as people may fear money for good causes would be diverted to pay private operators. However the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform following calls by Youth work Ireland and others has fixed the amount to be raised for good causes at a % close to the current allocation. This may go some way to meeting concerns expressed but we will continue to monitor the situation
Youth Work Ireland Press Release on The National Lottery
Call for Expressions of Interest for National Lottery Licence

Unemployment and the Youth Guarantee
The focus for this important area has now moved very much to the national arena. Member states have been encouraged to include plans for a Youth Guarantee in their national Employment Action Plans and Reform Programmes. EU funding is available for such plans and significantly it has been reported that Ireland has underspent money raised from a pension levy to support employment measures. Similarly the Commission is “frontloading” funding for these plans so money should be available. Senator Kathryn Reilly has produced a report on the Youth Guarantee for the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs
Oireachtas Committee Report
Parliamentary Question on the Youth Guarantee
Speech by Lazlo Andor European Commissioner for Social Affairs

CE Innovative Projects
The Department of Social Protection are supporting a limited number of innovative Community Employment Project applications. The idea is to use the framework of CE in an innovative way to examine new and different ways of addressing employment issues. Tipperary Regional Youth Service is one of the organisations who have been successful in this regard with their Work Winner Programme
DSP Press Release on Extension of Community Employment
Tipperary Regional Youth Service Work Winner Project Information

DSP Outsourcing Employment Services
The Department of Social Protection is responsible for the delivery of Employment Services to all unemployed people. There has been considerable reform in this area with the merger of DSP Employment Services and FAS Employment Services and the introduction of Intreo an integrated “one stop shop” However successive reviews by the Troika have singled out this area as in need of more attention as have the OECD. The DSP is now examining the outsourcing of a considerable amount of provision in this area to the private sector for the long term unemployed. However very few young people will be covered by this initiative
DSP Information on JobPath

Emigration Figures
It is a real shame that the state only produces emigration figures once a year in September. Either way the 2013 figures showed no let-up in the trend of young people leaving the country. 200,000 young people have left the country in the last six years. These figures bely the talk of a recovery and jobs growth particularly for young people. Other research has also shown it is the brightest and the best that are leaving our shores. We believe it is critical that the Government delivers on its commitments to an extra 60,000 education and training places. The news that crucial jobs funding raised form the pension levy has been underspent is very disappointing
CSO Figures on Emigration
Youth Work Ireland calls for a redoubling of Government efforts on employment in the light of emigration figures

Child Protection
The establishment of the Child and Family Agency is reaching its final stages. The legislation will soon be enacted and many of the structures have existed in “shadow” form in advance of the legal basis being established. While the establishment of the Agency is significant many feel it should be more ambitious particularly in relation to hearing the voice of the child. Norah Gibbons as the Chairperson designate appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on health and Children in July.
Norah Gibbons at the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children
Children’s Rights Alliance Briefing Note on the CFA

Frances Fitzgerald at Oireachtas Committee
Minister Frances Fitzgerald meets with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on a quarterly basis. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss all aspects of the Departments work. The July meeting covered a wide range of issues including Detention Centres, The Child and Family Agency, Preschool services, Children First, The IYJS, The EU Presidency and youth work funding. Robert Troy made a strong intervention on the area of Youth Work funding
Text of the discussion at the Oireachtas Health and Children Committee

Conference – Bringing the Threads Together
Joined up government and joined up services have long been an aspiration of policy makers. It is an important concept for all those working with children and young people to understand. Youth Work Ireland is offering a space for policy makers and practitioners to address joined up service delivery for young people on November 2nd at its annual conference.
The day will feature inputs from key experts; youth work practitioners and policy makers. The aim of the conference is to share best practice on the ground and examine the challenges faced in working across different policy areas to achieve best outcomes for children and young people.
The following are confirmed speakers; Francis Fitzgerald, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Senator Jillian Van Turnhout, Senator and formerly Childrens Rights Alliance, Robert Watt Secretary General Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Jim Breslin Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs Gordan Jeyes National Director, Children and Family Services, HSE Ita Mangan Chair of the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare Dr. John Bamber Centre for Effective Services
More on the Conference

General
Statements on Bullying in School (Seanad Eireann)
Dail Question on Child Detention Centres
Dail Question on UN Convention Rights of the Child Protocols 2 and 3 (Child Pornography and Prostitution)

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