The Committee on Health and Children will resume its hearings on the Children First Bill tomorrow, 10th May when it meets with representatives from the sports and youth sectors.
The Committee is inviting submissions from interested groups and stakeholders on the Heads of the Children First Bill which was recently published by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD.
Tomorrow the Committee will hear from John Treacy, Chief Executive, Irish Sports Council; Gearoid O’ Maolmhicil, Child Welfare Officer, GAA; Kate Hills, National Children’s Officer, Swim Ireland; Mary Cunningham, Director, National Youth Council of Ireland; John Cahill, Foroige; and Eddie Darcy, Youth Work Services Manager, Catholic Youth Care.
The purpose of the Bill is to put Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children on a statutory basis. The Minister has sent the Heads of the Bill to the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children for consultation before the Bill is finalised.
Committee Chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the drafting of this crucial piece of legislation. However, for the Children First legislation to be effective, we must engage with and have an open dialogue with those groups who will be working with it on a daily basis.
Therefore, it is important that we meet with people working in the sports and youth sectors to get their perspectives on the draft Heads of the Children First Bill. Our meeting tomorrow will give them a chance to contribute to the drafting of this legislation which will provide the necessary safeguards to protect children and combat child abuse and neglect.
Our meeting will provide us with an opportunity to receive input from key stakeholders on the proposed Bill. This is the first time that the Joint Committee on Health and Children has been asked to provide its input into the Heads of a Bill and the process will enable members to make observations and suggestions before the bill comes before the Dáil and Seanad.”
The meeting takes place today, Thursday 10th May, 11.30am in Committee Room 2, LH 2000. Committee proceedings can be followed live at: http://bit.ly/24YmPI
For more details on making a submission to the Committee, click on the following link: http://bit.ly/KudZIb