Children & Young People

Children & Young People

Children & Young People

 

 “The summers were long and hot, as all childhood summers were, and, in winter, sometimes we had snow. We grew up, though, strangely few grew out, for many of my generation have stayed on in the place that shaped and sometimes even nurtured them. I still love Cork. There I belong and there I am secure.” Isabel Healy ‘A Cork Girlhood’ in The Cork Anthology (Ed. Dunne), P117

Children & Young People - Policy

Healthy Ireland: A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025 - Department of Health (2013) identifies investment in early intervention initiatives aimed at children and their families as one of the key responses needed to achieve the objectives of Healthy Ireland. Healthy Ireland recognises that early intervention provides a greater rate of return than later intervention in terms of tackling inequality, reducing educational disadvantage and improving child development. Healthy Ireland also makes a series of recommendations specifically concerning children and young people, while establishing a number of related key performance indicators relating to infant mortality, weight, smoking, alcohol, health status, early school leaving, and prevention control and surveillance of infectious diseases.

The DCYA’s Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures (2014) elaborates the key government priorities for children and young people and the vision that Ireland will become one of the best small countries in the world in which to grow up and raise a family. Local Authority involvement is envisaged in many of the proposed actions, including the central involvement of the Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC) and Local Community Development Committees (LCDC).

Children and Young People’s Services Committees (CYPSC) are a key structure identified by Government to plan and co-ordinate services for children and young people in every county in Ireland. The overall purpose is to improve outcomes for children and young people through local and national interagency working. Comhairle na nÓg are child and youth councils in all Local Authorities of the country designed to enable young people (under the age of 18 years) to have a voice on the delivery of local services, policies and issues that affect them in their local area.

Cork Children and Young People's Services Committee (Cork CYPSC) is newly established and tasked with delivering a three year Children and Young People’s Plan. Work is currently under way to gather and collate data, carry out an audit of service provision and complete a local needs analysis. Cork City Comhairle na nÓg recently completed an information website aimed at making an impact in the current youth employment situation and improving youth employment prospects and services for young people in Cork City. Other recent projects include ‘What Can I Do?’ a video exploring children’s rights in Ireland ‘The Missing Link’ event highlighting the connection between mental health and drugs. Easy access to books and other reading materials at an early age gives children a solid foundation for educational advancement and creative expression.

Children & Young People - Stats and Facts

Boys and Girls (aged 5-8 yrs) living in Cork City, spend 18% of their time playing, with over half playing outside after school.

In 2011, over 19% of Cork City's total population were aged 0-18 years with 5% aged 0-4 years, 8% aged 5-12 years and 7% aged 13-18 years.  The Youth Dependency Ratio of Cork City (21%) is relatively low compared to the State average (32%). However there are notable variations within the city with higher levels in the four RAPID designated areas.  At 3.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, infant mortality rates in the city are higher than the rates for Cork County (3.3) but on a par with the State (3.4).  Between 2006 and 2011, the percentage of the population aged 15 or older that were classified as ‘unemployed or looking for their first regular job’ grew from 6.3% to 12.1%.  According to the 2007 Children’s Occupation Study of Children in Cork City, boys and girls aged 5 to 8 spent 18% of their time during the week on play, with 55% routinely playing outside after school. At weekends significantly more boys than girls engaged in extra physical activities (e.g. soccer & cycling).

Cork City features a varied mix of different family stages by household, with a relatively even distribution of numbers across each category.  The Adult Family type (those with an oldest child of 20 years +) is most common accounting for 30% of the total families in the city. Pre-school families (those with an oldest child of 4 years) account for 9% of and early school families (those with an oldest child of 8 years) for 8% of the total families in the city.

While the percentage of Cork City's total population aged 0-4 years (5%) is below the national average (8%) the northwest of the city (7%) and the four designated RAPID areas (6-8%) do have notably higher levels