Press Release

Government announces first major Study of Growing up in Ireland

The Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs, Dermot Ahern, T.D. and the Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin, T.D., today Friday, 5th April, jointly announced the decision of the Government to establish Ireland´s first long-term study of children growing up in this country. The information gained from the Study is expected to have a major impact on the types of services and supports as provided to children and their families.

The study will monitor the development of 18,000 children from different backgrounds (10,000 from birth and 8,000 nine year olds) through to adulthood. It will follow these children from birth and nine years to adulthood, yielding important information about each significant transition throughout their young lives. It will seek to identify the circumstances which allow children to thrive and those which hinder children´s development.

The study was proposed in the National Children´s Strategy and the Report of the Commission on the Family. The next stage will be the issue of an invitation in the next few weeks to interested parties to tender to carry out the study.

Welcoming the Government decision, Minister Ahern said “This is a major development in this Government´s Families First initiative which places the family at the centre of all Government policies. The Study will provide invaluable information on children and their families which will assist in the future development of family policy in Ireland”.

Minister Hanafin added “The results of this pioneering study will enable us to provide better services for all our children. The absence of research about the lives of children in Ireland has led us to rely on international material. This study means that Irish information about Irish children can influence Irish policies”.

€1.27 million will be provided immediately by the Government to cover the start up costs of the study.