The Department of Social Protection is the main government department responsible for policy-making on social inclusion.
The Social Inclusion Division within the Department of Social Protection supports the Minister and Government in developing and implementing Government strategies on social inclusion.
There is no specific national strategy for the social inclusion of young people. However, the social inclusion of young people is promoted through a number of current and recent strategies, including:
- National Youth Strategy 2015-2020;
- Better Outcomes Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People in Ireland 2014-2020;
- LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy 2018-2020;
- National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy 2019-2021;
- Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020 – 2025;
- National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020;
- National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021.
Objective 8 of the National Youth Strategy states, “young people are a particular focus in policies that address social inclusion and poverty.”
The Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020 – 2025 defines poverty and social exclusion as:
'People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society.'
The main challenges to social inclusion in Ireland currently are child poverty, homelessness and young people living in Direct Provision and Emergency Accommodation Centres (discussed further in Chapter 4.1).