#Children's Rights

KOD Lyons act for DCA Warriors in Campaign for Election 2016 for Children with Additional Needs

Following a consultation process involving its 8,000 members leading children’s advocacy group DCA Warriors in partnership with KOD Lyons have launched a policy document for its members for the 2016 General Election campaign. The document can be viewed below, and is an important grassroots response to the need for children’s rights to be a priority.

DCA Warriors – Cherishing All Children Equally 2016.

We ask those looking to be the next leaders of Ireland to honour the words written in the 1916 Proclamation which “declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally” and that “no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity or rapine.”

The DCA Warriors was established in February 2012. We currently have over 8,000 members. The group gives information and support to parents of children with special needs [SN] and/or serious illness [SI] applying for Domiciliary Care Allowance, Carers Allowance, Disability Allowance and Carers Benefit.

We expanded our mission, and are now committed to ensuring all children in Ireland with special needs are given their right to a full education and other rights. Our children deserve to have their dreams realised of a future where they will be a productive member of our society.

Our Election campaign is focussed upon ensuring that the rights of children with special needs and those of their families are fully vindicated.

Our 8,000 plus members are asking election candidates to ensure the following policy commitments are implemented in the next Dáil. In addition individual members will have the facility to include a further two individual policy pledges they are seeking which reflects their own circumstances and concerns.

Policy Pledges for 2016:

1. Fully reasoned decisions within 8 weeks in relation to applications for Domiciliary Care Allowance [DCA] Carers Allowance [CA], Carers Benefit [CB] and Disability Allowance [DA].

2. Establishment of an Independent Investigation and Complaints Unit for Education with the power to enforce decisions.

3. Urgent Independent Review of the Assessment Of Need [AON] process and the Disability Act 2005 to include streamlining of Early Intervention Services [EIT] for children until the age of 12.

4. Overhaul and adequate resourcing of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services [CAMHS] with independent oversight.

5. Full implementation of Education of Persons with Special Education Needs [EPSEN] Act 2004 including the necessity for all children to have an Individual Education Plan [IEP] and the National Educational Psychological Service [NEPS] assessments to be based instead on the individual needs of children arising in a school setting.

6. Immediate removal of isolation/seclusion rooms for punishment purposes with stringent rules around reporting and notification to parents to be based upon necessity and consent. An immediate review of the above and of the restraint procedures used to ensure compliance with human rights.

7. (Personal DCA Warrior Member commitment sought).
8. (Personal DCA Warrior Member Commitment Sought).

Gareth Noble is a partner in our Child Law Department, and also specialises in Disability Law.

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The DCA Warriors Cherishing All Children Equally 2016 petition to dcawarriors2012@gmail.com was written by Margaret Lennon and is in the category Children's Rights at GoPetition.