Campaign encourages everyone to be mindful of vulnerable children and young people in these challenging times
Supporting Children is a portal on Gov.ie, providing access to the many supports and services for children, young people and their families
The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman T.D., has today launched the second Supporting Children campaign aimed at encouraging everyone to be mindful of vulnerable children and young people in these challenging times.
The campaign provides easy-to-access information on services available to children and families throughout the period of Covid-19 restrictions. Advertisements will be rolled out across radio and social media, with the Supporting Children website providing an information hub and practical supports to anyone who may need them.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Tusla have a robust infrastructure of services providing assistance to children, young people and families throughout Ireland, involving over six thousand funded organisations and services, including child protection, youth work, and youth, community, and family services. This existing system of structures and supports was mobilised during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure that vulnerable children and their families could still access the services they needed.
Following the move to Level 5 restrictions in December, Tusla has put in place supports for victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence, including additional funding for 24-hour helplines.
Tusla continue with their essential work in child protection. Anyone with a concern about a child’s safety or welfare should contact their local duty social work office using details on the Tusla website.
Launching the campaign, Minister O’Gorman said:
“This has been a difficult time for so many people around Ireland, and we need to make every effort to make supports easily accessible to anyone who might need them. The ‘Supporting Children’ website provides practical supports, as well as targeted information for vulnerable children and young people.
“It shows the breadth of services and supports for children provided by the State and Community and Voluntary sectors and outlines the actions and innovations taken by services in responding to the challenges of COVID-19. The website also includes links and contact details to organisations such as Parentline, Childline, and Barnardos as well as how to find local Family Resource Centres and Children and Young People’s Services Committees .
“As we know, we are all in this together, therefore, it is crucial at this time that as a society we reinforce the message and mandate to support children. The Supporting Children campaign shows what and who is in place to support the welfare and wellbeing of our children.”
Kate Duggan, National Director of Services and Integration, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency added:
“Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that we all work together to keep children and young people safe from harm. If anyone is concerned about a child, we would urge them to make contact with Tusla as soon as possible by contacting the local duty social work office, or where urgent, call An Garda Síochána. There are also many other services available to support those who need it, from Tusla’s family support services and education support services, to the many community and voluntary organisations all over Ireland. These services continue, and it is important that people know that support is available and where to find it.”
Tanya Ward, Chair of the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, National Advisory Council welcomed the campaign, saying:
“Covid-19 restrictions have put enormous pressure on families across the country. The most recent lockdown measures are extremely challenging for children and young people with the closure of their schools, a pause on their community activities and more time away from their peers. Sadly, for some children, home is not a safe space and these children are at risk of being further isolated.
“Now, it is time for us all to keep our eyes and ears open to keep children safe. It is great to see the Department, with the support of youth and community services, redouble efforts to reach out to vulnerable families. This new portal brings together all the services available to children, young people and their families in one place. It is also a great resource for those of us working with children or anyone worried about a family they care about. Hopefully it will bring support that bit closer to families who really need it during these times.”
Note to Editors:
Availability of Spokespeople
Tanya Ward, Chairperson of the National Advisory Council for Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, is available as a national spokesperson for Supporting Children. To arrange an interview with Tanya, contact the press office.
Local spokespeople are available for interview on services available in your region. Interviews can be arranged by contacting the press office.