Project Details

Page last updated: 17th August 2012

Project Information

Making Children Visible: Assessing the impact on Children (NICCY)

Dates: January 2012 to April 2012
Commissioned By: NICCY
Funder: NICCY
Reaserch Team: Goretti Horgan (lead), Marina Monteith
Partnerships: ARK, NICCY

The Welfare Reform Bill currently making its way through Westminster will give effect to a number of proposals which, statistical modelling would suggest, are likely to have a very detrimental impact on families with children. While all families with children will be impacted, some groups of children, particularly those who live in families in the bottom 60% of society, will be most affected.

This work entailed desk‑based research and provided the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People with the full range of evidence that can be used to encourage the committee for Social Development and the current Minister for Social Development to ameliorate as far as possible the impact of the proposed welfare reform on children. In developing this report, the researchers explored the data available for children in Northern Ireland, drawing from a diverse range of sources in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to assess each of the proposals outlined in the DSD EQIA on the Welfare Reform Bill (Northern Ireland) 2011. The project adopted a child rights impact assessment method to assess the impact of the proposed Welfare Reforms in relation to the rights of children and young people, assessing its adequacy and its effectiveness. The child rights impact assessment takes the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a starting point with specific regard to its four general principles and the concluding observations of the CRC. Researchers assessed the welfare reform proposal for compliance with children’s rights, how it relates to the CRC, whether or not it contributes to the implementation of the CRC or fulfils any of the recommendations of the Committee’s Concluding Observations. The researchers also examined whether particular groups of children are differentially or disproportionately affected by proposed policies and legislation. Further, the child rights impact assessment included consideration of any measures to mitigate any adverse impact on children, or alternative policies that might better achieve promotion of children’s rights.

The report was launched on 26th April at Stormont Hotel and findings were also presented to the Committee for Social Development on 23rd June 2012.

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Related Events


Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, 25th October 2012

Summary: Goretti Horgan (School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy, University of Ulster) presented the findings of research carried out alongside Marina Monteith (CYP, UNESCO Centre) into the impact of the proposed Welfare Reform Bill, with particular reference to children and young people in Northern Ireland, to the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development.

Seminar: Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series: ‘Welfare Reform: Implications and Options’

Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, 18th October 2012

Summary: Goretti Horgan (University of Ulster) presents on work carried out for the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People with Marina Monteith (UNESCO Centre, University of Ulster). This seminar looks at the implications arising from the Welfare Reform Bill and assesses what can be done within the constraints of parity to reduce adverse impacts on people in Northern Ireland. It includes consideration of the changes to Housing Benefit regulations and the introduction of Personal Independence Payments for disabled people.
The powerpoint, a video of the seminar presentation and associated policy briefing are available on the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series webpage.

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