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A series of virtual events addressing disadvantage for children, young people and families. Book your place.

aine kerr

Join MC Áine Kerr for a series of lively conversations, new thinking and practical takeaways in policy and services for children and young people. Watch the 2020 Festival here.

Programme of Events

Perspectives on Disadvantage: How Inequality Concerns Everyone

Kate Pickett

Monday November 15th

Disadvantage prevents children, families and communities from reaching their potential and being heard. Professor Kate Pickett, (University of York) co-author of the Spirit Level and the Inner Level will explain why equal societies do better, and how disadvantage is an issue for us all. Panel contributors include Bernie Laverty, National ABC Manager at Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, Owen Ward, Traveller Education Officer at the Access Centre NUI Galway, and Emer Smyth, Research Professor at the ESRI.

Mitigating Disadvantage through Public Policy


Wednesday November 17th

How can public policy respond to the needs of children and families experiencing disadvantage? Olivier Thévenon, Head of the Child Wellbeing Unit, OECD will talk about effective approaches to family support in different jurisdictions. Panel contributors include senior officials Conor Rowley and Ciara Pidgeon from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Professor Conor O’Mahony, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection and Karen Kiernan, CEO of One Family.

Making Connections or Digitally Divided? Disadvantage in the Digital World

Professor mark brown

Monday November 22nd

The digital world is increasingly important in the lives of children and young people – it’s a place to learn, play and participate. Professor Mark Brown, from the National Digital Learning Centre at DCU will explain why a digital society also needs to be a fair society. Panel contributors include Ellen Helsper, Professor of Digital Inequalities (LSE) and we’ll hear how the innovative use of technology in organisations such as Foróige and iScoil is helping young people to reach their potential in the real world.

How can the EU Prioritise the Needs of Children and Young People?

massimiliano mascherini

Wednesday November 24th

How can EU policy initiatives benefit children and young people? What’s important for children and young people as Europe emerges from the pandemic? Massimiliano Mascherini, Head of Unit ad interim Social Policies with Eurofound will share insights from research on the relationship between young people and the EU. Panel Contributors include the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Eurochild Children’s Council, and UNICEF.