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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 19 April, 2019
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Children First Bill to be published within weeks - Fitzgerald

The Children’s Minister says that Fine Gael is “putting children first”.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE CHILDREN’S MINISTER has told the Fine Gael Ard Fhéis that the government had to build a children’s policy from scratch.

Speaking at the RDS today, Frances Fitzgerald said that the government is “putting children first”, announcing that the Children First Bill will be published in the coming weeks.

“This bill has been talked about by Fianna Fail since 1999,” said Fitzgerald.

“Fine Gael is now delivering it. This new law will put Children First guidelines on a statutory footing, require reporting of child protection concerns; and will lay down the statutory safeguarding obligations of organisations working with children.”

Fitzgerald told delegates that “on coming to office as Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, I was faced with a legacy of failure and inaction by Fianna Fail; as children suffered and families fell apart.

“There was much to be done. In many cases we had to start from scratch.”

Fitzgerald spoke of the recent launch of Tusla, Ireland’s first-ever child and family agency, of the new detention centre in North Dublin and the Youth Justice Plan as proof the government is taking children’s’ futures seriously.

“Supporting childhood is building for Ireland’s economic future. I believe this Government is the first to fully recognise the importance of childhood and to embrace the economic imperative of investing to support better outcomes for all children.”

Read: Michael Noonan: I’ll consider tax cuts, Richard Bruton: I won’t consider wage hikes

Follow all our coverage from the Fine Gael Ard Fheis here >

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