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Kelly attends launch of cross-border Children’s Initiative

17 April, 2008


A new European funded initiative to ensure children in border areas are healthy, safe and have their rights protected was launched today in Armagh. Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly MLA, Brendan Smith TD, Minster for Children and Jeffrey Donaldson all attended the launch.

The border project will use the latest mapping technology to help identify the needs of local young people and any gaps in services provided to them along counties on both sides of the border. The project has been funded by the European Union INTERREG IIIA programme funding, secured by Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), the cross border health and social care partnership.

Speaking at the launch in Armagh, Junior Minister Gerry Kelly said:

"Thanks to a cross-border partnership between health and social services agencies, we now have this new planning model that will help organisations target their services to meet real and specific needs.

"Using Google Earth technology organisations will be able to quickly and directly access facts and figures such as poverty levels, health statistics or teenage pregnancies, then work together to plan services to help address such issues.

"It will be an essential planning tool for all those responsible for the planning and commissioning of services for our children and young people and one we hope has potential to support an all-island approach to mapping needs," said Mr Kelly.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The 'Integrated Planning Model for Outcomes for Children and Young People' and an interactive website, are the work of Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), a cross border health and social care partnership comprising the border counties of the Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland and the Southern and Western Health and Social Services Boards and Trusts in the North of Ireland.

The project was funded by the European Union INTERREG IIIA Programme.

The Junior Ministers have responsibility for the co-ordination of policy for children and young people.

The ten year strategy "Our Children and Young People - Our Pledge" is available on the website www.allchildrenni.gov.uk

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