Barnardo's NI

Barnardo’s NI 2022 Manifesto: An Assembly for Children

Learn more about the Barnardo's NI 2022 Manifesto and how we're calling on the next Northern Ireland Assembly to be an "Assembly for Children". 

Barnardo’s NI has been supporting children and young people in Northern Ireland for over 100 years.

We have more than 45 services across Northern Ireland, and this year alone we supported around 18,000 children, young people, and families.

But we know that the challenges that children and families face today are greater than ever before.

We want politicians to tackle this head-on in the next Assembly mandate. That’s why we developed the Barnardo’s NI Manifesto.

What is the Barnardo’s NI 2022 manifesto?

At Barnardo’s NI, we believe the system around children and young people is going to be more critical than ever if we are to help the next generation not just adapt to a new reality, but to thrive.

Girl in park

We have developed our manifesto calls based on our experience delivering services in Northern Ireland, the expertise from our frontline colleagues, and the voices of the children and young people we work with.

The next mandate of the Northern Ireland Assembly must be determined, ambitious and collaborative if it is to successfully address these challenges.

We need to work collaboratively across the public, private, and community and voluntary sectors to help transform the lives of the most vulnerable children in Northern Ireland.

We want to work together to build:

  • stronger families
  • safer childhoods
  • positive futures.

That’s why, with the Northern Ireland Assembly elections approaching in May 2022, we’re calling on politicians to pledge their support for an Assembly for Children.

Download our manifesto pledge sheet

You can pledge your support to Barnardo’s Northern Ireland with our manifesto pledge sheet.
Simply print, as ‘fit to page’ on a white piece of card. Sign your name on the line, to pledge your support and then pose and smile for the camera!
Don’t forget to share your picture and show your support on Twitter by tagging @BarnardosNI and using the hashtags #AnAssemblyForChildren and #BarnardosManifesto.

What are we calling for?

We’re asking the next Northern Ireland Assembly to campaign for...

Stronger Families

Mother and daughter baking biscuits
  • Full implementation and funding of commitments made in the Mental Health Strategy.
  • Expand the pilot of primary school counselling to full commissioning of primary school counselling services.

Safer childhoods

Support in schools

  • Close the legislative gaps to protect children in Northern Ireland. In particular, raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility, and providing children with equal protection from assault as adults.
  • Develop and implement a standardised Relationships and Sexuality Education curriculum for all schools.

Positive futures

Three children playing in a garden

  • Adopt a trauma-informed approach for all systems, services and policies that impact children and young people.
  • Deliver and implement a robust and ambitious Anti-Poverty Strategy which will protect and support children and families.

Working together

Man working with young person

  • Development of co-production and co-design principles, including with children and young people, that will be the foundation for this type of work undertaken by government bodies.
  • Commitment to working in partnership with the community and voluntary sector as valued and equal partners in the development and delivery of services.
  • Full cost recovery commissioning model as standard, in conjunction with longer commissioning cycles of at least 3-5 years.

Want to get involved?

If you want to find out more, contact the team at Barnardo's NI today.