Fine Gael Meath East TD, Chair of the Internal Fine Gael Committee on Health and Children, has today said that the Growing Up in Ireland study provides an essential and valuable insight into the lives of our children. Deputy Doherty was speaking following the publication of the latest instalment of the study, which examines how our children’s emotional state is impacted by their families.
“This study is proving to be an extremely valuable resource for the Government, when formulating child centred policies. The latest report looks at how children are affected emotionally and socially by their families. The vast majority of nine year olds are developing well, but up to one and five are classified as having significant levels of difficulty. The study also highlights the fact that children from lower income and single parent households are more likely to experience difficulties. This provides both a challenge for their parents and for the State.
“Our children are our most important asset, and they must be valued and cherished appropriately. This Government has placed children’s issues at the heart of policy making, by establishing a dedicated Ministry for Children. We must ensure that information like that contained in the Growing Up in Ireland report feed into public policy to ensure that our children are being best served.
“The establishment of the new Children and Family Support Agency will be a key step in ensuring that our children are better protected. I am encouraged to receive confirmation from Minister Frances Fitzgerald that significant progress is being made on the new Agency, which will incorporate key children’s services.
“The Agency forms just one part of a significant reform agenda, including placing the Children’s First Guidelines on a statutory basis and the establishment, for the first time, of a dedicated budget for children and family services.
“I commend the Government on the work that has been completed to date and I urge Minister Fitzgerald to ensure that the Growing Up in Ireland plays a key role in the formulation of policy into the future.”