Press Release

Want to know what children think? Try asking them!

Minister for Children launches ISPCC Children´s Consultation Unit.

“Consultation with children is in its infancy in Ireland” stated Minister for State with Special Responsibility for Children, Mr Brian Lenihan TD. “The first goal of the National Children´s Strategy is that children and young people will have a voice” he continued. “As Minister for Children, I am very pleased to launch the ISPCC Children´s Consultation Unit, which has been established with funding from the National Children´s Office” declared the Minister. “The Unit will provide guidance and practical assistance to organisations seeking to consult with children” said the Minister.

“The main focus for the Unit in 2003 will be to support County and City Development Boards (CDBs) in organising Comhairle na nÓg. In the National Children´s Strategy, the CDBs have responsibility for the establishment of Comhairle na nÓg (Children´s City/County Councils) to provide young people with a local forum to voice their concerns” explained Minister Lenihan. “Young people select delegates from Comhairle na nÓg to represent them at Dáil na nÓg, thus ensuring that their views are fed into national decision making. In many areas of the country, the CBBs have developed very effective permanent structures for children´s representation” continued the Minister. “The National Children´s Office provides a grant to each CDB to facilitate the running of Comhairle na nÓg” he added.

“The Unit will provide training and guidance to the CDBs in developing expertise in consulting with children” continued Minister Lenihan. The Minister went on to say that 27 Comhairligh were held in 2002, and expressed the hope that all 34 Development Boards would organise a Comhairle na nÓg in 2003. “I would like to remind young people that we want to hear from them” concluded the Minister.