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A Special Announcement

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Robin Swann MLA, Minister for Health, and Peter Weir MLA, Minister for Education, announced the publication of their new strategy for children and young people in care this morning (Friday 19 February 21).

The announcement comes as VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care), alongside four other children’s rights charities around the UK and Ireland, engages in a day-long event of fun online activities as part of Care Day 21.

The strategy – A Life Deserved: ‘Caring’ for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland – is available to download from the Department of Health and Department of Education website.

 

A Life Deserved: ‘Caring’ for Children and Young People in Northern Ireland

 

Welcoming the announcement, Alicia Toal, Chief Executive, VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care), a charity for children and young people with a lived experience of care in Northern Ireland, comments:

 

“Care Day is the world’s biggest acknowledgement and celebration of children and young people with lived experience of care. It’s a day to celebrate their resilience and their rights.

 

“We’re delighted that the Department of Health and the Department of Education have published the new strategy for children and young people in care – A Life Deserved: Caring for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

Alicia Toal, Chief Executive, VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care)

“Over the past number of years, our children and young people have played a key role in the development of this strategy, sitting down and talking with government officials, and telling them what it’s like to grow up and live in care.

 

“We really hope that over the next number of years these conversations will continue, so that children and young people with lived experience of care can have a real role in ensuring that the strategy is delivered and achieves really positive outcomes.”

 


 

Transcript of Video Messages

 

Robin Swann MLA, Minister for Health

Can I firstly wish you all a very Happy Care Day 2021. I can’t believe it’s a year since the talent show in the Waterfront Hall, a night full of joy and fun. Actually, the good old days.

We have to celebrate your achievements in a different way this year. We all need to do whatever we can to keep each other safe during the ongoing pandemic. It is more important than ever that we do everything we can to support children and young people in care and care leavers.

Today, the Education Minister and I are pleased to announce the publication of a strategy for care experienced children and young people. The strategy was developed for you and, more importantly, with you. So, thank you for sharing your stories, your views, and for the very helpful suggestions that many of you made.

We want to assure you that we have listen to you and hear what you have said. I hope that you find that reflected, not only in the title of the strategy, but also in its content.

It’s now time for action, to bring about the improvements we have committed to make. We want to continue working with you and for you, to make things as good as they can be, should be, and you deserve them to be.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Care Day and we follow the hashtag #CareDay21.

 

Peter Weir MLA, Minister for Education

Happy Care Day 2021

I am delight to be able to speak to you on this most important of dates. And that is why the Health Minister and I have chosen to publish a strategy for you. Thank you for all your contribution to the development of this document, which has been invaluable. You have entrusted us with your life stories and experiences, and my Department will be taking forward actions in direct response to the concerns you have highlighted.

The first and most important of these, I believe, is the concern you have expressed in being referred to as ‘Looked After’ or ‘LAC’. I am changing this in my Department to ‘children looked after’, putting you as individuals first and foremost in our minds.

I look forward to continuing this journey with you as we implement this strategy in order to transform the educational experience, not only for you but also for the children looked after who come after you, to give you all the start in life you so richly deserve.

I hope you have a thoroughly enjoyable Care Day 2021.

 

Alicia Toal, Chief Executive of VOYPIC

Hello everyone. My name is Alicia and I am the Chief Executive of VOYPIC- Voice of Young People in Care.

Today I just want to wish every child, young person and adult with a care experience all the very best for Care Day.

Care Day is the world’s biggest acknowledgement and celebration of children and young people with lived experience of care. It’s a day to celebrate their resilience and their rights.

We’re delighted that the Department of Health and the Department of Education have published the new strategy for children and young people in care- A Life Deserved: Caring for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

Over the last number of years, our children and young people have played a key role in the development of this strategy, sitting down and talking with government officials, and telling them what it’s like to grow up and to live in care.

We really hope that over the next number of years these conversations will continue, so that children and young people with lived experience of care can have a real role in ensuring that the strategy is delivered and achieves really positive outcomes.

Don’t forget to check out our website- www.voypic.org/careday – for all the detail of our online festival of fun activities. You can also check out our social media for all the latest update.

So, from everyone at VOYPIC, Happy Care Day!

 

 

 

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