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Board welcomes Youth Justice System report

2011-09-26

The Health and Social Care Board today welcomed the publication by the Northern Ireland Department of Justice of a report on the Youth Justice system. This made strong recommendations on a single joined up approach by Government to improving children’s lives, as well as concentrating on the need for early intervention and prevention.

The Health and Social Care Board chairs the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP), which features strongly in a number of the report’s recommendations, and very much welcomes the roles suggested for the CYPSP. The report recognises that Northern Ireland now has a process in place through which all agencies can plan together for improved outcomes for children and young people through the CYPSP.

John Compton, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board, said: “Northern Ireland now has a single partnership which brings Chief Executives together to plan and put into place services to improve outcomes for all children and young people. We view this as a critical development, and will use it to make better use of resources through integration, concentrating on those services that children and young people need at an early stage of any difficulty. We are delighted that this thoughtful and informed report agrees with our views and endorses the CYPSP as a critical coordinating process to make this work.”

John Compton went on to welcome the report’s specific recommendation that the NI Executive should reinvigorate it’s children’s strategy and that the CYPSP “should become the strategic, multi-agency forum through which regional and local priorities are agreed’’ – so that the work of the Partnership flows directly from a strengthened joint Government approach to improving children’s outcomes.

Mr Compton very much welcomed the report’s first recommendation – that the NI Executive should develop an early intervention and prevention strategy, to be delivered locally through the CYPSP. He noted that the CYPSP decided very early in its life that ensuring a coordinated approach to better use of all available resources for early intervention, from whatever source, would be a key aim.

Finally, Mr Compton noted that the recommendation that the Northern Ireland Executive should determine how best to secure funding to invest in early intervention and prevention is critical, and that, if these recommendations are accepted, it would be a huge step forward in the development of a Northern Ireland in which children and young people live more fulfilled and happy lives.

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