Green MLA supports calls for policy action to improve outcomes for children

Green MLA Steven Agnew has called for all Ministers to work together in public policy development and implementation to produce better outcomes for children and young people.

Speaking in his role as Vice Chair of the All Party Group on Children and Young People at the launch of Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI) Policy Calls to Action document today, the Green Party Leader said: “There are two mechanisms which will help ensure more effective and better co-ordinated policies and spending to improve the lives of children and young people in Northern Ireland.

“One is a statutory duty to co-operate and the other is children’s budgeting.

“I am currently working on a Private Member’s Bill on a statutory duty to co-operate which will place a legal obligation on government departments, authorities, agencies, public bodies and councils to work together in the planning, commissioning and delivery of children’s services to ensure the best outcomes for children and young people are achieved.

“The benefits of investing early in a child’s life make both social and economic sense as it leads not only to to higher levels of achievement in school and greater productivity as adults but also higher levels of social and emotional functioning and wellbeing.

“This type of investment is fundamental to the future of our society and is the most effective investment in terms of wide ranging returns.

“I am campaigning for better governance and more accountability through strategic approaches to policy which will in turn deliver the best outcomes for future generations in Northern Ireland.

“I believe it is incumbent on all political parties to work together to ensure our young people get the best start possible and I hope they will be able to put their political differences aside and support the great work being done by the children’s sector which is leading the way in this area.”

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