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.

18 March 2020
Call For Police Support Over Comber Murder Bid
An Alliance MLA has issued a call for support for the police following a shooting in Comber. The gun attack on Sunday night, 15 March, is being treated as attempted murder. A man in his 50s had driven into a yard in the Ballycreely Road area of the town when a masked man armed with a suspected handgun emerged from a hedge.
18 March 2020
Latest Coronavirus Figures Emerge
A further six coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland as the first and deputy First Ministers call for a "whole of society" approach. Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill say measures to support and protect the general public will only be effective if everyone follows health advice. The new cases bring totals to 68.
18 March 2020
SDLP Demands Clarity For Farmers
An SDLP MLA has demanded financial clarity for farmers across Northern Ireland. Mid Ulster representative Patsy McGlone addressed the NI Assembly at Stormont on Monday 16 March, calling for action on what direct payments will be made available post-Brexit.
16 March 2020
Business Chiefs Demand Executive Support
Sixteen chambers of commerce and business organisations have come together to demand a package of support to help firms deal with the economic impact of coronavirus.
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.