Social Inclusion Unit

Contacts

Social Inclusion Officer: Patricia Reilly
Email: PReilly@wicklowcoco.ie
Social Inclusion Unit Analyst: Garvan Hickey
Email: ghickey@wicklowcoco.ie

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

Unit includes:

  • 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
  • Travellers
  • Women
  • Children
  • Young people
  • Older people
  • Homeless
  • 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

In Ireland

  • 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%)