South Dublin Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) has launched their three-year Children and Young People’s Plan. The new plan was officially launched by the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone T.D. at an event in the Russell Centre in Tallaght. The South Dublin CYPSC includes members from Tusla, South Dublin Country Council, An Garda Síochána, the HSE, Foróige, Jigsaw and Barnardos, amongst other local organisations. In developing this plan, South Dublin CYPSC carried out an audit of services available to children, young people and families in the South Dublin County area, and a consultation process was also undertaken with various stakeholders. The strategic three-year plan aims to improve the outcomes for children and young people. 

Speaking about the launch of the new plan, Katherine Zappone T.D, Minister for Children & Youth Affairs said, “I am delighted to have launched the new South Dublin CYPSC Children and Young People’s three-year plan here in Tallaght, in the heart of my own Constituency. “I wish to acknowledge the commitment of this CYPSC and the collaborative effort with all the local partners across the County who were involved in producing this plan. I am very impressed with the diversity and creativity of all the work being undertaken by South Dublin CYPSC and indeed the CYPSC family around the country. “South Dublin CYPSC was one of the first CYPSC 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. “It is an excellent plan moving this CYPSC towards a more strategic approach to planning and co-ordination. It is comprehensive, coherent, detailed and well thought through and I know a huge amount of work has gone into it. “There are emerging issues that need to be addressed as identified in the plan and I have every confidence that South Dublin CYPSC will rise to this challenge, and I fully support all involved in their efforts in implementing the plan.“

Audrey Warren, Chairperson South Dublin CYPSC and Area Manager for Kildare/West Wicklow/Dublin South West, Tusla, said of the new plan, “We believe through the implementation of this three year plan we will work to address and respond to the identified needs. We are committed to proactively working and engaging with children and young people and working collaboratively with parents and carers in all of our actions. “The publication of this three-year plan is an important milestone for us. The plan has been the culmination of many month’s work and deliberations. Our focus will now be to set about implementing this programme of work and to demonstrate measurable impact in the lives of Children & Young People.“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.”

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 area, CYPSC consultations noted a number of gaps in service provision including: addiction services for under 18s, mental health services for young people, education and employment supports for lone parents, early school leavers and minority groups, and the need to respond to the impact of homelessness on children and young people. South Dublin County has the fourth-highest population in the country and is home to over ninety-eight thousand children and young people. The area is characterised by wide ranging contrasts of poverty and affluence. In 2016, a total of 52,946 individuals lived in Small Areas of Population classified as being ‘disadvantaged’, ‘very disadvantaged ‘or ‘extremely disadvantaged’, and this accounts for 19% of the total population of South Dublin County. 25% (or 20,549) were aged under 24 years. It is the vision of the South Dublin CYPSC that through working together 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. The Plan can be viewed at www.cypsc.ie.

Pictured: Audrey Warren, Chairperson South Dublin CYPSC and Area Manager for Kildare/West Wicklow/Dublin South West Tusla, Katherine Zappone T.D  Minister for Children & Youth Affairs and Patricia Finlay, Service Director, Dublin Mid Leinster Tusla.