Young people's plan

By Mary Dennehy

A CHILDREN and Young People’s Plan has been launched for South Dublin County, which highlights a number of gaps in services, including the need to respond to the impact of homelessness on children and young people.

The fourth highest population centre in the country, South Dublin County is home to more than 98,000 children and young people.

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Audrey Warren (Chairperson South Dublin CYPSC and Area Manager for Kildare/West Wicklow/Dublin South West, Tusla), Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs and Patricia Finlay (Service Director, Dublin Mid Leinster, Tusla)

According to the plan, South Dublin County has wide ranging contrasts of poverty and affluence, with 52,946 individuals (2016 figures) living in areas classified as being ‘disadvantaged’, ‘very disadvantaged’ or ‘extremely disadvantaged’.

These figures account for 19 per cent of the total population of South Dublin County, 25 per cent (20,549) were aged under 24 years.

The three-year plan, which aims to improve the outcomes for children and young adults locally, was launched in the Russell Centre in Tallaght by the South Dublin CYPSC (Children and Young People’s Services Committee).

This committee includes members from Tusla, South Dublin County Council, An Garda Siochana, the HSE, Foroige, Jigsaw, Barnardos and other local organisations.

In developing the plan, the South Dublin CYPSC carried out an audit of services available to children, young people and families in the South Dublin County area, alongside engaging in a consultation process with various stakeholders.

Evidence and information was also collected from a range of sources, including socio-demographic statistics and service mapping.

Despite a high number of services and resources in the South Dublin County area, CYPSC consultation noted a number of gaps in service provision.

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Three year plan aims to improve the outcomes for children and young adults

These gaps included, addiction services for under 18s, mental health services for young people, education and employment supports for lone parents, early school leavers and minority groups.

It also noted the need to respond to the impact of homelessness on children and young people.

Speaking about the plan, Minister for Children and Young People Katherine Zappone said that it was “comprehensive, detailed and well thought through”.

“South Dublin CYPSC was one of the first CYPSCs to be established in 2007 and has been working tirelessly in this community working with local organisations and partners in delivering for children and young people”, Minister Zappone said.

“There are emerging issues that need to be addressed as identified in the plan and I have every confidence that South Dublin CRPSC will rise to this challenge, and I fully support all involved in their efforts in implementing the plan.”

Audrey Warren, Chairperson of South Dublin CYPSC, and Tusla Area Manager, said that through the implementation of the three-year plan the committee will work to “address and respond to the identified needs”.

“The publication of this three-year plan is an important milestone for us”, Ms Warren said.

“The plan has been the culmination of many month’s work and deliberations.

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Minister Zappone addressing people at the launch (inset) Audrey Warren (Chairperson South Dublin CYPSC and Area Manager for Kildare/West Wicklow/Dublin South West, Tusla), Cllr.Tara Deacy (Prevention Officer at Clondalkin Drugs Task Force), Minister Katherine Zappone T.D, Patricia Finlay (Service Director, Dublin Mid Leinster, Tusla), Joe Rynn (South Dublin CYPSC Co-ordinator) and Colm Ward (Director of Housing, Social and Community Development, SDCC)

“Our focus will now be to set about implementing this programme of work and to demonstrate measurable impact in the lives of Children and Young People.”

She added: “CYPSCs key strength is the collaborative nature of our work and the openness of agencies and individual staff to adopt this approach.

“This will assist South Dublin CYPSC to further develop and support the co-ordination and planning of efficient and effective services for children and young people.”

South Dublin CYPSC say that through working in partnership they can achieve better outcomes for children and young people in South Dublin County, with a focus on early intervention and prevention, particularly within areas of disadvantage.

In order to achieve this, South Dublin CYPSC will aim to “consolidate and build upon the positive work to date and cultivate leadership through joined up working and joined up thinking both locally and nationally”.

For further details visit cypsc.

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