Origin of the Unit
The Social Inclusion Unit of Wicklow County Council was established in early 2002 with the recruitment of a Social Inclusion Unit Officer and a Social Inclusion Unit Analyst. The establishment of this office is part of a four-year national pilot programme in seven different local authorities across the country.
Key roles of the Social Inclusion
- Assessing the policies of Wicklow Local Authorities with regard to social inclusion.
- Raising awareness among staff on the issues of social inclusion and their priority position within all aspects of future Council policy.
- Evaluating work implementation plans and/or strategies arising from these policies to ensure consistency with the principles of social inclusion.
- To support and assist the work of the County Development Board in respect of the local authority’s role in social inclusion.
- Being proactively involved in community based research on a countywide basis.
What is social inclusion?
- Being aware of society’s most marginalised and vulnerable groups
- Being aware of the needs of these groups
- Endeavour to accommodate the needs of these groups through positive policies and legislation
Ireland’s National Anti-Poverty Strategy 1997-2007 highlights the following marginalised groups as being most at risk of experiencing poverty:
- Unemployed/Low Income groups
- Disabled people
- Lone parents
- Young people
- Older people
- Prisoners and ex-prisoners
- Migrants and ethnic minorities
- Urban disadvantaged
- Rural disadvantaged
- Educationally disadvantaged
NAPs is striving towards reducing the poverty and marginalisation experienced by these groups.
Some Facts and Figures
- 6.5% of children in consistent poverty
- 5% of all households in consistent poverty
- 16.6% of all family units are lone parent family units (Wicklow=16.2%)
- 5.7% are unemployed (Wicklow=5.6%)
- 8.3% with disabilities (Wicklow=7.7%)