Thursday, November 6, 2014

NPC - Child Friendly Administration

Dear Parent,

The Ombudsman for Children’s office has written to the NPC to invite parents and children/young people to participate in a project that is looking at child-friendly administration, which it has commissioned the University College Cork to undertake.

In explaining the study and the request, the OCO office has written:

As you know, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office has been in existence for more than ten years. In that time, the Office has dealt with over ten thousand complaints regarding the actions of public bodies and service providers. The Offices’complaints-handling and investigatory work has given it an insight into the barriers that children and their families can face when attempting to access those services or when they are engaging with decision-makers in public bodies.

However, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office believes that, following a decade of work in this area, it is appropriate to examine in greater depth the experience children and families have of accessing public services, the difficulties they encounter and what practices characterise a rights based, child-friendly approach to public administration.

To that end, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office has commissioned Professor Ursula Kilkelly and her research team at University College Cork’s School of Law to undertake research on child-friendly public administration relevant to education, health and social services. An important part of this study is to hear directly from children and parent/carers about their experiences of public services and bodies in the areas of health, education, housing and material wellbeing and alternative care. Using focus groups, participants will be asked first, to describe their experiences of accessing public service for, with or on behalf of their children and second, to identify any barriers or positive experiences they have had in this area. The main objective is to develop ideas for making such services more accessible, rights respecting and child-friendly.

The project will involve holding six focus groups-four for adults and two for children-which will be held on the 14thand 15th November in Dublin. Our intention is for each focus group to have a maximum of six participants; they will last between 60-90 minutes in the case of adults and between 30-60mins for the children and young people. The participants will all be individuals who have direct experience of engagement with public bodies in the areas under examination.”

If you feel you have something to contribute to the study and would like to participate in one of the focus groups to share your experiences of engagement with your child’s school, the Department of Education or other public bodies please contact Naomi Kennan at:

Naomi Kennan

Research Assistant

University College Cork

Tel: 0 87 126 2342