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Big Ballot Results: Family and Care top concern for children & young people

The results of the national Big Ballot, an unprecedented process of consultation with children and young people across Ireland, were announced today (Tuesday, November 20th) at Dublin City Hall.

Nationally, the issue which children have identified as being of most concern is Family and Care, followed by Play and Recreation.

The percentage results of each of the five issues voted on by children and young people are as follows:

Family and Care 31.5%

Play and Recreation 24%

Having a Voice 16.5%

Health, Wealth and Material Wellbeing 16%

Education 12%

Nationally, children and young people from 21 counties in Ireland voted for Family and Care. Family and care refers to the importance of the family for children and the importance of the provision of alternative care when a child is without support.

Commenting on the results, Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan stated:

“Today is Universal Children’s Day, a day for recommitting to the rights and welfare of children across the globe. It is highly appropriate that we are also announcing the results of the Big Ballot, the most extensive process of consultation ever undertaken with children in Ireland.

“Children and young people have a right to be heard. They have a right to express their opinions on the issues that matter most to them, and I have a responsibility to ensure that these issues inform the work programme of my Office.

“At a time when Irish society is changing dramatically, and families are facing significant challenges, it is particularly encouraging that children view the family as being of such critical importance. Over the course of my national tour last month, I was struck by the number of children who articulated issues relating to the family. Today’s results underscore many of these comments.

“As Ombudsman for Children, the results reaffirm the programme of work being undertaken by my Office. I have already called for families to be given more support in my submission on the Constitution, and much of the work of my Office is dedicated to working with children and families who need assistance. I will continue to press for improvements in how children in care are supported by the State, and to ensure that children with intellectual disabilities receive the proper support and assistance they need.

“In addition, my office has already begun a new project to develop Child Friendly Cities – an initiative designed to encourage adults, children and young people to work together to make their town, city or county a good place for children and families.

“The great value of the Big Ballot is that a really significant number of children and young people have been given the chance to have a say in the work programme of my office.

“I am looking forward to bringing the results of the Big Ballot to national policy makers and legislators, in order to influence developments that will have a positive impact on the lives of children and young people across Ireland.”