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Prevention and Early Intervention makes sense for both society and economy - McLellan

24 June, 2015

Speaking today as one of the panel speakers at the 'Hands Up For Children' Cross Party Panel Discussion today in the Mansion House in Dublin, Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on Children Affairs Sandra McLellan said that prevention and early intervention for children at risk makes sense for both society and economy.

Deputy McLellan said:

"The positive impacts of Prevention and Early Intervention on children are clear. We know Early Intervention can strengthen the development of children and empower them for the future.

“We know Prevention is better than Reaction or Cure. We also know children are the hardest hit in this country by the recession with 138,000 children living in consistent poverty – a shameful reality of our society.

“The lasting effects of poverty on those children will be detrimental without the necessary supports in place to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks. We have a duty to look after our most vulnerable. We have a duty to protect the children of this state. Prevention and Early Intervention is key to making that happen.

“A recent report from UNICEF showed that Poland, Australia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Norway and South Korea are among the top 15 countries, which have actually reduced child poverty during times of recession.  This is due to the strengthening of social protection policies.  Countries that have maintained their social safety nets have kept their children from sinking into poverty.

She continued:

“Sinn Féin will continue to make those at high risk a priority. Evidence of that is to be found in our costed Alternative Budget from last year. In it, we made it clear that those in society who have been hit worst would, and should, be prioritised.

“Our commitment is to creating a fairer society. An unshakeable part of that is a commitment to children at risk. It’s about political will and choice. A choice this Government continuously refuses to make."

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