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Junior Minister welcomes closer working with Children’s Commissioner

11 September, 2008


Closer working with the Children's Commissioner ensures children remain a top priority, says Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly MLA.

The Junior Ministers, Gerry Kelly and Jeffrey Donaldson, today chaired the fourth Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People at which the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, gave a presentation on her organisation's priorities. These included protection, play and leisure and emotional health and well being.

Gerry Kelly said:

"This sub-committee provides an opportunity to address priority cross-cutting issues in a joined-up way and demonstrates the Executive's commitment to improving the lives of all children.

"As ministers with particular responsibility for children and young people we are fully committed to securing and prioritising their rights. We welcome this presentation from Patricia Lewsley and her views on how we can work closely together to deliver for our children and young people." ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Sub-Committee is jointly chaired by the two OFMDFM Junior Ministers and all departmental Ministers are members.

The key priorities for the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People are:

  • A holistic and comprehensive approach to child poverty.
  • A comprehensive early years strategy that focuses on the development and wellbeing of each child, including affordable access to high quality early years provision for families living in areas of disadvantage and poverty in urban and rural areas.
  • Provision for vulnerable young people, including those in care settings, those engaged in anti-social behaviour and those in contact with the criminal justice system; promotion of good mental health and early intervention in addressing mental health issues as they arise; provision of care for children with autism, learning, physical and sensory disabilities including respite and community provision.
  • Safeguarding, including support for parents, families and carers.
  • Provision for children with special educational needs in mainstream and special schools, including transitions to adulthood and the provision of appropriate health and social care interventions.
  • Provision of school buses, road safety and transport issues.

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