Children are top of the agenda at Stormont

Children will be top of the agenda at the Assembly tomorrow, Tuesday, 29 September, when Steven Agnew MLA’s private members bill is set for consideration.

The Children’s Bill is designed to bring about a statutory duty on all Executive departments to collaborate and work together in the commissioning and delivery of children’s services.

This will, Steven Agnew MLA says, help ensure that children are afforded an equal opportunity to reach their full potential.

Steven Agnew MLA said,

“Getting children’s services right is essential if children are to reach their full potential and to me, it makes sense to have a joined up approach across departments to do so.

“The Children’s Bill is inspired by the Children’s Act 2004 and will place a legal duty on government departments to collaborate to achieve the six high level outcomes established as part of the OFMDFM ‘Ten Year Strategy for children and young People’. These are:

• Being healthy
• Enjoying, learning and achieving
• Living in safety and with stability
• Experiencing economic and environmental well-being
• Contributing positively to community and society
• Living in a society which respects their rights

“Having spoken to a wide range of both children’s organisations and families, I know that the Children’s Bill is eagerly anticipated.

“I am therefore delighted that to date, the Children’s Bill has received cross-party support from all sides. This piece of legislation shows that it is possible for MLAs to work together for the common good of our children, especially when it will bring such positive benefits.”


1. The Children’s Services Co-operation Bill (Children’s Bill) is a private members bill put forward by Steven Agnew MLA for North Down
2. The Children’s Bill will pace a statutory duty on all Executive Departments to collaborate and work together in the planning, commissioning and delivery of children’s services
3. Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK which does not have this form of statutory obligation in terms of children’s services
4. The Children’s Bill is supported by may organisations including the Children’s Law Centre and NICCY

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