• Restrictive Intervention and seclusion of children and young people with additional needs; NI
    Schools across Northern Ireland are entrusted with the learning and well being of some of the most vulnerable children into their care. The recent private member's motion tabled by Alliance Party's Mr Chris Little, Member of Local Assembly and Department of Education Committee Chair, highlights the need to discuss the use of unregulated restrictive interventions and seclusion applied to children with additional needs and learning disabilities across schools in Northern Ireland. As a parent of a child who experienced unregulated restraint and seclusion in his previous special school, I would encourage you to consider the everyday harm caused by restraint and seclusion. I urge you to understand the importance of addressing this issue and to take action by asking your MLA to support the motion as an urgent non- political matter which affects all children and young people in receipt of education and support services. The current policies for managing behaviours of concern in schools stem from disciplinary guidance which is used to deal with misbehaviour or truancy. In practice this means children with additional emotional and support needs routinely experience restrictive interventions that range from coercive practices, to restraint and seclusion (including use of dark rooms) to manage and control behaviours of concern, frequently described as "challenging behaviour". Restrictive intervention are often applied without malice, as a result of training provided to schools and support staff. Such training is reportedly delivered to train teachers and support staff in how to intervene with children by the use of restraint or seclusion in a crisis. However, lack of adequate resourcing reportedly results in the use of 'crisis management' strategies on a daily basis - without regulation, recording or reporting to parents and families. This causes distress and everyday harm for our children and young people. Deescalation training and low arousal approaches such as those outlined by Professor Andy McDonnell (www.studio3.org) are examples of alternative strategies best suited to a child-friendly educational environment. These techniques offer an earlier intervention approach to support and reduce the need for hands on or confrontational and distressing physical interventions. Low arousal approaches to support prevent everyday harm. In contrast the reliance on the use of restraint or seclusion in health, social care and schools has been shown to traumatise children and young people who are often already vulnerable due to disabilities. There have to date been several reports published on the significant physical injuries, emotional trauma, and in some tragic cases even death. Reports below from Ireland and UK:- https:///www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/driving-change/rrisclaunch.html http://www.inclusionireland.ie/content/news-items/1707/launch-shining-light-seclusion-and-restraint-schools Scotland and England have been campaigning on the prevention of restraint and seclusion. Beth Morrison of PABSS/ICARS worked alongside the University of Warwick analysing case studies from many families where their children had experienced significant harm on a daily basis by the use of restraint or seclusion in the course of their education. The harrowing findings of this report was launched at the House of Lords by Lady Sheila Hollins in February. The Department of Education have a Nurture Initiative to support the social and emotional needs of children with behaviour difficulties, which might otherwise create barriers in their education. We ask that restraint and seclusion be eradicated from all but last resort/crisis interventions. Instead of restrictive practices, ''nurturing'' children and young people with additional needs and learning disabilities seeks to provide a hands off, harm free environment. Thank you for supporting children and young people with additional support needs and intellectual disabilities, ensuring a safer, supported education where every child can thrive. Show your support on Twitter #EverydayHarm. See the British Association of Social Work NI's Twitter post - in opposition to restrictive interventions bit.ly/2Pe5IE0 and the supporting briefing paper for the private member's motion bit.ly/3jVLoQp "Difference is of the essence of humanity and therefore respect for that difference should be very very normal and very common" John Hume, Nobel Laureate.
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    Created by Deirdre Shakespeare
  • Private Small Bus Operators Of Ireland
    Our industry moves Ireland , school children,Airports, train stations ,Ports ,Government Departments infant when groups of people need to be moved around we are the industry that does it . We are the ones that move Ireland with out us no one gets to their destinations in one vehicle . Our full size bus takes 6 cars of the road for every full size Coach .We transport school children on a daly basis .Our precious daily cargo is people dont wait till its to late when the operators are no longer in business . School transport have been totally ignored in relation to getting back on the road and having extra cleaning time cleaning equipment and not funding. Refund on vehicles that have been parked up since March on road tax,cvrt or extenstions Allowing this industry claim vat on all business like our counter parts in Northern Ireland.
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    Created by Silverlining Coach Hire Picture
  • Make pedestrianisation of New Street, Malahide, permanent
    Please support the permanent pedestrianisation of New Street, Malahide. At the moment a 10 week trial is in progress to guage the pros and cons of this measure. Some businesses have mounted an energetic campaign to return New Street to it's former position as a car dominated hostile space for human beings. Don't let them win! If this is reversed, it will be a major setback to efforts to provide livable and walkable communities for all of us.
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    Created by Austin Keegan
  • The Village Salthill Boycott
    In recognition of the calculated and callous decision of the business consortium calling itself “The Village Salthill” to put their own private profits over public safety by lobbying Galway city councillors to scrap the popular temporary cycleway in Salthill, a decision that will put the health of our community & its children at risk, this petition has been created for people to show their support for the project & pledge that they will vote with their feet & refuse to support those businesses that are members of this group with their custom in future until such a time as the cycleway is re-established. Their poster companies can be found here https://www.salthill.com. Sign up & show them what real community can do - don’t let them get away with privileging their profits over you & your children’s health.
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    Created by Stephen Strauss-Walsh Picture
  • Open Consultation With The Community Regarding Community Money
    Castlemartyr and the surrounding areas lack community facilities. The residents of the community deserve adequate resources and facilities. We are approaching the 20 year mark since the original donation of funds and nothing has been accomplished. The Community want full information and input into this money and any proposed projects as the community has not been consulted in any manner.
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    Created by Eileen McCarthy
  • Save Waterford's Municipal Golf Course
    This is the only publicly owned Golf Course in the South East and is much used. A change of use would take from the public an amenity that is valuable for low cost both for the council to provide and players to use. If anything sports facilities should be further developed for users of all ages.
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    Created by Una Dunphy
  • Funding Essential to Fully Reopen Schools
    Parents for Change is a grassroots activist group helping parents assert their voice in Irish society. The right to education is at the forefront of our constitution. Schools are important for the social, emotional and educational development of our children. Schools also provide the economic benefit of stable and cost-effective childcare in a society with a desperately inadequate childcare system. There has been a glaring omission in the roadmap to opening Irish society: schools. There are less than 7 weeks left until the start of the next educational term, yet there is no definitive plan for the education of our children. If the rest of Irish society can open safely, then so too can our schools, with the proper planning and investment. Other countries have shown us that this can be done safely and current HSE research suggests that schools are not a high risk setting for Covid 19. Where there is political will, there is a way. Parents are no longer willing or able to juggle working from home, caring for children and home schooling. Parents accepted this as an emergency measure, but this is no longer acceptable. Plans for blended learning are not a sustainable option for parents or children. The Covid 19 crisis has highlighted many inadequacies in the Irish educational system: years of systemic underfunding; poor pupil/teacher ratios (one of the highest in the OECD); poor school infrastructure including small classrooms; the use of prefabs and no hot water etc. The Department of Education needs to show decisive leadership on the issue of schools reopening fully. Schools cannot operate in a vacuum and direction must come from the top down. Parents for Change supports teachers, principals and teachers’ unions in their drive to open schools safely and are therefore advocating for immediate funding packages to be made available. If funding is in place schools can: · Open fully in September 2020. · Hire more teachers/SNAs to reduce class sizes and allow for social distancing. · Use substitute teachers to fill in for staff absences due to Covid or other illnesses. · Build temporary or permanent structures on school grounds to allow for smaller classes/social distancing. · Hire alternative venues for classes to allow for social distancing (local sports clubs etc). · Hire more cleaners. · Improve cleaning and hygiene standards, including availability of hot water. · Provide face coverings if age appropriate. · Implement strong policies on personal responsibility and sickness within the school community. · Arrange staggered pick up and drop off times for pupils. · Provide safe school transportation. · Provide technology to pupils where necessary to allow them to participate in online learning if in social isolation/quarantine. · Provide extra support for vulnerable children where there might be limited capacity for teaching in the home and ensure they are not left behind. If blended learning is used, it must be for short, specific time periods (e.g. educating children during social isolation/quarantine). Parents need to be able to access government funded paid leave from work during this period and the government must negotiate this with employers. Schools, ECL and childcare are the bedrock of the economy and should be treated like frontline, essential services. Without them, parents cannot participate in the economic recovery of our country. We must invest now in education both for the health of our economy and our nation. We cannot afford not to. Please sign our petition.
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    Created by Jane Toolan
  • Prioritise school re-openings in September 2020
    Remote learning is not a feasible long term substitute to in-school education. Re-opening of schools should be prioritised over the aviation and tourism industries.
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    Created by Molly Hurley
  • Reopen gates in Phoenix Park
    Update: OPW have released this. All gates bar Knockmaroon open from Friday July 10th. Knockmaroon will open when works completed. Truly hope lessons can be learned from this and all stakeholders are considered in future planning. Thank you all for your support!! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3500180506661143&id=132971523382075&anchor_composer=false Phoenix Park is a worldclass amenity to the people who live nearby, on day trips, and tourists alike. The decision to only have 2 gates open to vehicular traffic is seriously restricting access to the park. Traffic volumes are increasing now that we are coming out of lockdown. Congestion in the surrounding areas is already a huge issue. This will only increase with these access routes cut off without an alternative solution. It can now take up to an hour to get from one end of the park to the other ; particularly at weekends with increased demand for the Zoo, Farmleigh and the Visitor Centre. Engine emissions from cars sitting on Chesterfield Avenue must surely be offsetting any potential environmental gain. Parts of the Park will become no go areas due to their isolation. There are no plans for an increased OPW presence with the gate closures. This decision seems to have been rushed through with little forward thinking and engagement with local communities. Give the park back to the people and then work on alternatives to reduce car traffic.
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    Created by Alison Reynolds
  • Stronger Regulations for Airbnb
    Airbnb is a a major factor on homelessness. As Airbnb is so unregulated many landlords are evicting tenants to turn their premises into nightly lets. This is causing the massive reduction of properties available in the private rental market. Therefore pushing up the cost of rents. The People of Ireland are living in hotels and B&Bs while the tourists are living in the houses. Until this sector is regulated and the rules enforced this will continue to happen. Covid 19 has highlighted this, we saw 1000s and 1000s of houses lying empty because travel restrictions. I am urging the Government to do someting about this once and for all.
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    Created by Caroline Neill Picture
  • Maintain Children's Voices at the Cabinet Table
    #TheDCYAMustStay It is welcome that in the proposed Programme for Government the DCYA appears to be included. It is imperative that DCYA is retained, and the proper support and budget requirements that would allow the Department to fulfil it's duties and responsibilities to children are provided. Children need a strong voice in government now more than ever. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. There are more than 1.25 million children and young people in Ireland. That represents 25% of our population. Children have suffered hugely during Covid—19. They have experienced worry and loss in many ways: illness/death of loved ones, parental unemployment, school closure, transitions and rites of passage have been abruptly cancelled, interrupted friendships, loss of the freedom to be a child, new stress and worry, and much more. Some of these children will need extra support to help them deal with what they’ve experienced. For some there will be difficulties with addressing the future and adapting to the new and unexpected world that lies ahead. Some will have suffered abuse, neglect, domestic violence and other trauma behind closed doors as their family struggles to survive, and many live without the safe space provided by trusted adults in their extended family, schools, sports clubs, and community services. Prior to the Covid 19 emergency government figures indicated that 11% or 134,000 children and young people lived in consistent poverty, for example not owning a warm winter coat or being able to heat their home adequately. 3,555 children and young people faced day to day difficulties living in homeless accommodation and another 1,674 in direct provision accommodation. Many parents had difficulty accessing readily available and appropriate mental health or disability services for their children and teenagers. Additionally many parents were struggling with the cost of quality child care and afterschool care. These worries and concerns haven’t gone away. We need a minister focused on children and young people at the cabinet table to continue to develop our children’s services and bring children’s voices to discussions and decisions. We are deeply concerned about the possibility that the functions of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) may be carved up, subsumed, or amalgamated with other departments in the next government. We are concerned about the possible downgrading of the key role of Minister for Children, and the danger that this will again take us backwards in a history that has not always treated children well. 2011 brought hope for children, with the appointment of the first full ministerial appointment dedicated to the children of Ireland and the establishment of the DCYA. In November 2012, the referendum on the rights of the child resulted in the addition of Article 42A to the Irish Constitution, placing an emphasis in law on the best interests of the child. The establishment of the new Child and Family Agency in 2014 saw the separation of the business of looking after children from the delivery of health services. There was hope that we were awakening from our historical past of disregard for children, their rights, voice and visibility in society and public policy. There was hope that this would be the foundation for ‘brighter and better futures’ for the children of Ireland. We need a Minister for Children who will continue the work to ensure that services supporting children and young people’s well-being, welfare and protection are properly resourced. The DCYA has undertaken so much necessary work since its establishment, work that has positively impacted on children’s lives in this country. There remains so much more to achieve going forward if we are to tackle issues such as child poverty, child and family homelessness, equal access to services, proper health provision, protection and welfare of children, and deliver a fair and equitable Ireland for all our children.
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    Created by Aoife Bairéad
  • CHANGE THE COUNT! Everyone deserves a decent place to live! #home4all
    What will be the future of our children? By 2030, 1 out of 4 people will live in poor housing conditions. The fast-moving challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic adds another urgent reason to ensure that people can shelter at home and protect their health and families. In Europe today, young people cannot afford to rent a flat in many cities; and a growing number of families cannot pay their heating and cooling bills. Globally, more than half of the urban population lives in slums. Proper housing is a matter of life and death in the current pandemic as people are asked to stay at home to protect themselves against the coronavirus. Home has become more important than ever, and the European Union has a role to play. Join Habitat for Humanity and partner organizations all over Europe in calling on the EU to: · Prioritize affordable housing in the next EU budget for 2021-27, particularly for countries in the global South. · Increase funding for access to water and sanitation and for slum upgrading to protect communities against diseases. · Address energy poverty in the European Green Deal with concrete financial measures. Situation Many countries are unprepared and unable to meet the growing housing needs of urban residents. The expected global population increase of 1,18 billion combined with the existing global housing need, means that approximately 2 billion people will be in need of adequate housing in 2030. This creates an unprecedented housing challenge. Without adequate and affordable housing; without land rights, more and more families are at risk of poverty and insecurity. The current coronavirus pandemic has highlighted importance of housing as the means of protection against deadly diseases. A proper home has become the most important remedy. But it is not accessible to all. Habitat for Humanity works for access to decent housing because it is foundational to individuals and families, to the communities in which we live and to the economies in which we all participate.
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    Created by Michaela Klakurková