A paper presented findings on the impact of the recession, cost of living increases, and changes to the social security system on young people in Northern Ireland, drawn from the Communities in Action (CiA) Programme, a community-led research project with eight working class communities across the country. Key findings included: that the education maintenance allowance was considered a vital resource for young people from low-income families; that many families were unable to afford computers and internet access at home; that many now felt that a university education was out of reach; that young people felt trapped in a cycle of part-time low paid jobs, and found few opportunities for full-time work or a career; and that young people had aspirations and acted on them, but needed more support to achieve their ambitions.
Source: Gabi Kent, Hard Times 3: Youth perspectives, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
An article examined a qualitative study involving young men in Northern Ireland aged 14-19 experiencing particular forms of exclusion. It said that the findings revealed a range of unmet social and psychological needs, the impact of sectarianism and segregation, and a paucity of support systems.
Source: Janeet Rondon, Karen Galway, Gerard Leavey, and James Campbell, 'Exploring the needs of socially excluded young men', Children & Society, Volume 28 Number 2
The Northern Ireland Executive began consultation on a draft set of fostering services regulations, designed to support and strengthen the provision of services within the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors. The consultation examined a range of issues on topics such as foster carer selection, placement decisions, monitoring, and provisions for safeguarding. It would close on 7 April 2014.
Source: The Foster Placement and Fostering Agencies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014: A consultation document, Northern Ireland Executive
A report examined existing e-safety messages for children and young people, parents and practitioners in Northern Ireland. It said that there was a wide range of work being done and that the government should capitalize on this. It recommended the development of a policy framework and strategy for e-safety, incorporating clear definitions and risk markers, and a more strategic co-ordination of local work.
Source: An Exploration of E-Safety Messages to Young People, Parents and Practitioners in Northern Ireland, National Childrenï¿½s Bureau Northern Ireland