New Oberstown strategy aims to 'provide best care' for young offenders

The launch is set to mark a new milestone for youth detention in Ireland after the establishment of a single campus at the facility in June 2016.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone TD is set to launch a new three-year strategy for Oberstown Children’s Detention Campus  - writes dublinlive.ie.

The launch is set to mark a new milestone for youth detention in Ireland after the establishment of a single campus at the facility in June 2016.

The strategy will set the blueprint for the detention of youths in Ireland until 2020, aiming to do so through five so-called 'priority areas'.

These are:

To provide the best possible care for young people;

To develop the Oberstown team and organisation;

To implement policies, procedures and standards consistent with the best model of detention for young people.

To enhance communications aligned to Oberstown values and mission;

To deliver robust governance at all levels and driving effective accountability.

In the past year, improvements have been made to the campus' buildings and facilities, as well as training and supports for staff and the Strategy will look to build on this.

Speaking ahead of the strategy's launch,Minister Zappone said the plan would provide a road map for Oberstown in its work.

She noted that the Plan will be "further complemented by the implementation of the recommendations which have been made in the various review reports”.

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She also thanked the Chair of Oberstown, Professor Ursula Kilkelly, the members of the Board of Management and the staff of Oberstown for their "work and commitment to improving the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people” in the community.

Professor Kilkelly described Oberstown’s strategic priorities as entirely informed by how best to protect the rights of young people referred to Oberstown by the Courts, with a focus on moving young people away from offending behaviour.

She added: “Oberstown provides safe, secure care and education to young people and is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of young people in all aspects of the Campus.

"We are optimistic that this Strategy will take us further in ensuring the full implementation of all aspects of a rights-respecting Campus in line with international standards."

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