In 2006, the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) published ‘Our children and young people: our pledge: a ten year stategy for children and young people in Northern Ireland 2006-2016’ which seeks to achieve the following outcomes for all children and young people:
- being healthy
- enjoying, learning and achieving
- living in safety and with stability
- experience economic and environmental wellbeing
- contributing positively to community and society
- living in a society which respects their rights
This strategy identifies that not all children have an equal start in life and that targeted support should be available to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, with a focus on prevention and early intervention. It proposes a ‘whole child’ approach to ensure support in each of these areas.
The strategy was published following the safeguarding reviews undertaken in response to the Laming recommendations. The outcomes identified for children are similar to those in England, with the addition of rights – based objective.
Children Services Planning increasingly use the strategy as a framework for the planning and commissioning of regional services in Northern Ireland.