07/11/2018

DUP: NI 'Lags Behind' In Helping Abused Kids

Northern Ireland is falling well behind Scotland and Wales in helping young children who are neglected or abused, a report released by the DUP suggests.

Hope for Every Child assesses the support available to those who suffer Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

Councillor Peter Martin, the author of the study, said Northern Ireland needs to become "trauma-informed", have a better understanding of why children may end up in trouble, and put in place appropriate interventions to reduce this.

"Proactive prevention is more efficient, effective and fiscally sound than the reactive cure," Mr Martin said in the report.

"Very often this is about firstly identifying and then supporting both young children and parents in extremely difficult circumstances.
News Image
"To give an illustrative example, is it the child's fault that they have to put a brick through someone's window?

"Is it because they perpetrated the act against an innocent person, but equally, we need to consider why they did it?"

The report cites figures from the Department of Justice which show that 2,568 of offences recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2015/16 were committed by young people aged 10-17.

It also references research from Public Health Wales which suggests that children exposed to abuse, neglect and family dysfunction are 20 times more likely to end up in prison than children who suffer no ACEs.

"If we want to make Northern Ireland a safer place, we do not require bigger prisons," the DUP councillor said.

"Instead we need to look at the children in our society and ask how we can better support them."



(JG)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 December 2020
New Measures To Support Childcare Providers
Education Minister, Peter Weir has announced new proposals to assist sustainability of the childcare sector. The Minister outlined plans following the allocation of £8.5 million funding in October for ongoing recovery and sustainability within the sector.
23 November 2020
New £300m Support Package Approved By Executive
A new £300 million support package has been announced by Finance Minister, Conor Murphy. The Executive approved package includes over £200 million for businesses and £98 million of COVID-19 funding to support the most vulnerable. Making the announcement, Conor Murphy said: "Our businesses are facing huge challenges and are under immense pressure.
01 December 2020
New Support Measures For Survivors Of Historical Institutional Abuse
A range of support measures for survivors of Historical Institutional Abuse has been announced by First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill.
30 November 2020
Urgent Criteria Change Needed To Support Taxi Drivers
The criteria for a COVID-19 support payment for taxi drivers should be changed urgently so all drivers can receive the support they need, Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said.
23 June 2003
More action needed for cross-border child protection
A report on a North/South Conference on Child Protection has called for more action to be taken. Held last September, the conference gave local professionals a chance to discuss recommendations for a common approach to all child protection systems between Northern Ireland and the Republic.