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Irish Social Policy Links

Government Departments | Social Inclusion Agencies | Social Partners | Advisory Bodies

Government Departments

Department of Social Protection
Responsibilities: social welfare system, labour market activation

The Social Inclusion Division in the Department of Social Protection is responsible for the co-ordination of the National Action Plan Against Poverty and Social Exclusion (NAPincl), which incorporates the National Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Department of Education and Skills
Responsibilities: education, educational disadvantage, lifelong learning

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Responsibilities: employment, industrial relations

Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
Responsiblilities: housing policy, local government, environment

Department of Finance
Responsiblilties: annual Budget, Government spending

Department of Health
Responsiblilties: health policy, planning of health services, older people

Department of Justice and Equality
Responsibilities: justice system, legal system, immigration

Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Responsibilities: early childhood care, youth justice, child welfare

Department of the Taoiseach
Responsiblities: social partnership, economic and social policy, information society

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Social Inclusion Agencies

Pobal, formerly Area Development Management, is an independent company designated by the Government and the European Commission to support local economic and social development. Pobal manages a number of programmes targeted at countering disadvantage and exclusion and promoting reconciliation and equality.

Citizens Information Board
The Citizens Information Board (formerly Comhairle) is the national support agency responsible for supporting the provision of information, advice and advocacy on social services. It provides citizens information, support for information providers and social policy and research information.

Equality Authority
The Equality Authority is the statutory agency working towards the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, disability, race, religion, marital status, family status, sexual orientation and membership of the Traveller community.

Family Support Agency
The Family Support Agency was established in 2003 and is a statutory body providing and supporting family mediation and family support services.

National Disability Authority
The NDA is the statutory agency which advises the Government on disability policy. It also undertakes research on disability in Ireland and monitors the implementation of codes and standards aimed at promoting equality for people with disabilities.

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Social Partners

Social partnership is a means of reaching agreement between the Government and the Social artners on economic and social policy. It comprises 4 "pillars": employers, unions, farmers and the community and voluntary sector. Its members are:

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

Irish Business and Employers Confederation

Irish Farmers Association

The Community and Voluntary Pillar is made up of a number of organisations:

Community Platform

The Community Platform is a group of national community and voluntary sector networks and organisations engaged in combating poverty and social exclusion and promoting equality and social justice. Its current member organisations are:

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Advisory Bodies on Economic and Social Policy

National Economic and Social Council
NESC advises the Government on economic and social development. The Council is made up of nominees from the social partners as well as representatives from Government departments.

National Economic and Social Forum
NESF monitors and evaluates the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at achieving equality social inclusion.

Economic and Social Research Institute

ESRI is a national independent research body on economic and social policy. It undertakes and publishes a wide range of research studies on all aspects of social and economic development.

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