Yes for Children: Reasons to Vote Yes (Infographic)

Barnardos. (2012). Yes for Children: Reasons to Vote Yes (Infographic).
1. Children will have their rights protected in the constitution This referendum is a statement of intent - it says who we are as a country and how we value children - for too long children have been seen and not heard and their welfare ignored. This amendment will ensure that the horrors inflicted on Irish Children in the past can never happen again. 17 reports in the last 30 years have all documented child protection failings. Many called for a change to the constitution as the basis of any meaningful reform in child protection. This change to our Constitution is necessary if we are to ensure that all children in Ireland are sufficiently protected by law. 2. All children will get the same protection from the state It will provide the highest level of legal protection to vulnerable children and their families. It will ensure that our child protection system is based on a child's need to be protected - and not on judging when a parent has 'failed' their child. Focusing on a child's safety and welfare will allow the State to support families and to intervene earlier rather than waiting for a situation to reach crisis point. 3. All children will have a chance to grow up in a loving and stable family It will allow the almost 2000 children trapped in long term state care to be adopted and given a second chance at having a loving stable family. This amendment will allow for adoption in cases involving a child of married parents, only if the child has been in long-term state care and cannot successfully return to their birth family. Currently up to 2000 children in Ireland cannot be adopted because of the constitution. 4. When a decision is made about a child, it will be be made in the best interests of that child This referendum will ensure the best interest of children is the primary concern in judicial decisions. It will force courts to consider a child's best interests when making decisions about an individual child in respect of care proceedings, guardianship, custody, access or concerning adoption. This might seem obvious, but unfortunately in cases about children at the moment the child is often the only person whose welfare is not considered. 5. Children will have a right to be heard when decisions are made about them. It will also mean that children's views have to be listened to and given weight in cases concerning them. Again this might seem obvious, but entire cases - such as who will have custody of a child - can take place without once consulting the children involved.