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OCO Strategic Plan

In holding public organisations to account we will use the powers we have in law and utilise EU and UN mechanisms as appropriate.

Three-Year Strategic Plan 2022–2024

This plan outlines our main goals and the key areas of activity we will pursue to achieve them.

Goal 1

Children’s Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Mental Health


1.1 Pursue outstanding OCO recommendations in this area and seek the implementation of measures that address on-going gaps in children’s mental health services that are adversely affecting children

1.2 Influence the forthcoming mental health legislation, and other relevant legislation, through engagement with Government, the Oireachtas, the Department of Health and other stakeholders, so
that children’s rights are appropriately safeguarded by law

1.3 Using the knowledge we have gained from our work, the OCO will identify priorities and continue to advocate for the increased provision of mental health supports, including therapeutic
services, in schools and other educational settings

Goal 2

Do all in our power to make children with disabilities in Ireland seen, heard and counted. Hold Government and State Agencies to account in respect of Ireland’s commitments, including under the UNCRC and UNCRPD


2.1 Systematically identify and highlight measures required to promote access to, and participation in, education on the part of children with disabilities on an equal basis with other children

2.2 Research and present the rationale and evidence base for lifetime planning and the use of personalised budgets so that resources required to support each stage of a disabled child’s development are identified and provided

2.3 Define and illustrate the adverse impacts associated with delays
in assessments and obtaining services and resources for children
with disabilities

Goal 3

Mobilise the OCO’s statutory remit to influence the educational system of the future – an innovative and child centred education system that promotes wellbeing, is accessible to all and helps all
children to reach their potential


3.1 Advocate for appropriate, timely consideration to be given to children’s rights in decisions affecting education during and following the COVID-19 pandemic

3.2 Work to influence the implementation of effective measures to
combat bullying in all schools

3.3 Identify and pursue changes in legislation that are directed towards ensuring that children’s right to, and rights in, education are upheld in respect of all children

3.4 Advocate for a child-centred approach to developments in education and in particular in relation to the Senior Cycle and the Leaving Certificate process .

Goal 4

Strengthen the OCO’s position and influence as the authoritative voice for advancing the realisation of children’s rights in Ireland


4.1 Promote awareness of children’s rights and the OCO’s role amongst key audiences and explore new ways of connecting with our stakeholders

4.2 Using our statutory independence and powers, ensure that public organisations are held to account for reported actions/decisions affecting children’s rights

4.3 Ensure that previous relevant strategic initiatives relating to the promotion and protection of children’s rights including the rights of vulnerable children are pursued during the course of this
current strategy

4.4 Update our Customer Charter commitments and monitor ongoing adherence to same

4.5 Explore and adopt suitable approaches for streamlining calls/ web queries to ensure that relevant OCO resources are used to optimal effect

Goal 5

Continue to innovate and adopt process efficiencies to improve our day-to-day activities across all units in our Office


5.1 Undertake a review of systems/technologies with a view to adopting solutions to enhance OCO operations and efficiencies

5.2 Complete a review of our approaches to the collection and use of data to ensure that we are making optimal use of same

5.3 Continue to leverage the value of our interventions by enhancing processes for tracking and monitoring the implementation of follow-up actions required of relevant agencies

5.4 Update our Customer Charter commitments and monitor on-going adherence to same

5.5 Explore and adopt suitable approaches for streamlining calls/ web queries to ensure that relevant OCO resources are used to optimal effect


Goal 6

Develop our culture to support staff within a positive and progressive learning environment and continue to demonstrate best practice in meeting our governance obligations


6.1 Undertake a review of the OCO’s workplace culture, identify scope for enhancement and develop a supporting HR strategy which reflects the post-COVID operating environment and the
needs of an expanded OCO team

6.2 Introduce customised knowledge management system and protocols to develop our institutional memory, enhance data/ information quality and deliver associated efficiencies

6.3 Strengthen our internal communications, cross-unit working and information sharing arrangements, to optimise staff collaboration and promote innovation within and between team

6.4 Establish internal working group to progress initiatives in support of equality, diversity and integration across the Office in line with our Public Sector Duty

6.5 Ensure that the OCO continues to meet the highest standards
in relation to corporate services and its governance obligations


See more details on our Strategic Plan here.