Education Minister, Peter Weir, has launched the Northern Ireland Executive’s Children and Young People’s Strategy 2020-2030 for Northern Ireland.
The strategy is the strategic framework through which departments will work together to improve the well-being of all children and young people. It lists eight outcomes to be achieved for all children and young people. These cover many aspects of children’s lives including their physical and mental health, play and leisure, learning and achieving, safety and stability, economic and environmental well-being, contribution to society and rights and equality.
Peter Weir said: “The document stresses the importance of allowing children and young people opportunities to participate in society and to have their voice heard and their views respected, especially on issues which affect them.
“In addition, there is recognition of the contribution which children and young people make to society, through volunteering and youth work or as carers for family members, and the need to support them as they do this.”
Issues which children, young people and stakeholders have identified as requiring particular attention are also highlighted as the ‘40 areas of greatest focus’.
Continuing, the Minister said: “These will be the focus of departments’ efforts over the coming years.
“The issues identified include matters which are central to the lives and well-being of children and young people. They include early intervention, emotional well-being and mental health, inclusion of children and young people with a disability, tackling bullying; improving educational achievement and experience, improving support for rural young people and supporting the rights of all children, particularly those who experience any form of discrimination.
“Following on from the publication of this strategy, a three year delivery plan will be developed setting out the key actions that departments will take to help achieve the outcomes.”
PlayBoard NI welcomes the launch of the strategy which highlights the importance of play, listed as one of the eight key outcomes for children and young people, especially given the increased health and well-being concerns today. Download the strategy