Young People at Risk (YPAR) initiative is located in the North East Inner City (NEIC) of Dublin, which experiences some of the highest levels of deprivation and marginalisation in the city
Dublin’s North Inner City is a community with a long history of social and economic disadvantage but also with a strong history of community responses to this disadvantage. These community responses have been based on strong local leadership but have also involved asking the state to be involved as a partner with the community.
The area has a very strong culture of community development and advocacy on key policy issues which is led by the Inner City Organisations Network (ICON) which represents 65 local community and voluntary organisations.
During the 1990’s Inner City Organisations Network highlighted the need for more integration between state and voluntary agencies in the areas of dealing with young people at risk.
In 2000 ICON brought together a group comprising members of voluntary, statutory and community organisations that work with young people at risk. The group aimed to promote integrated, high quality, effective and co-ordinated services to children at risk. This was the start of YPAR.
Development of YPAR 2003 – 2011
In 2001-2002 YPAR held meetings with the National Children’s Office and all major statutory organisations including the Health Service Executive (HSE) with a remit for young people at risk.
In 2003 it was agreed that YPAR would be brought under the auspices of the Local Child Protection Committee of the Health Service Executive, which is an instrument of Children First, the National Guidelines on Child Protection and Welfare.
A Steering Committee was set up with ICON as the lead agency and funded by the Irish Youth Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to support YPAR.
YPAR commissioned research to map the needs and available resources for young people at risk in the Dublin NEIC. In 2005 YPAR began work on its first three-year Strategic Plan. This plan was launched in 2006 and reviewed yearly by an external consultant. In 2010 YPAR launched its Interagency Protocol.