16/09/2009

Childhood Wellbeing Targeted

Prevention rather than retrospective action in child welfare has been highlighted today by senior Stormont politicians.

Junior Ministers Gerry Kelly and Robin Newton have welcomed the publication of a new report that claims the wellbeing of children and young people can be dramatically improved by investing in preventative measures.

The Backing the Future report, published today by Action for Children and nef (the new economics foundation), also recommends changes in the way that services are delivered and the way we think about childhood.

Junior Minister Kelly said: "We welcome the publication of today's report and will obviously need time to consider it in more detail.

"We know there are a multitude of issues facing children of every age here, including those most vulnerable within our society.
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"We also recognise the benefits of early intervention which the report calls for and have held information seminars on the economic advantages of investing in early intervention programmes," he said.

The Sinn Féin politician also noted the Executive's 10 Year Strategy for Children and Young People.

"One of the supporting themes of the strategy is making a gradual shift to preventative and early intervention approaches without compromising those children and young people who currently need our services," added Minister Kelly.

DUP MLA, Robin Newton (pictured here) said: "The aim of strategy is to deliver improved outcomes for all children and young people, whilst recognising the need to take action to help those children and young people and their families who need it most.

"Secure, happy and confident children are the key to the future of our society. Children do not grow strong on their own.

"They need support from families, friends, schools and public services. Improving their lives is a responsibility we take very seriously."

(BMcC/GK)

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