Policy Submissions

Using evidence from research, we develop submissions in response to key policy areas of relevance to the work of the Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

January 2014. Submission to the NCCA on the propose SPHE Short Course from the HSE Sexual Health Promotion

In this submission to the NCCA, the Sexual Health Promotion Network (SHPN) comprising HSE Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme staff and HSE Health Promotion Officers with a remit for Sexual Health, set out views and concerns with regard to the draft SPHE short course for Junior Cycle, with a specific focus on the learning outcomes relating to sexuality and sexual health.

Read more: NCCA on the Propose SPHE Short Course from the HSE Sexual Health Promotion

May 2012. Submission to the Joint Committee for Health & Children on Children First Bill, 2012.
The Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme provided nationally representative data on the proportion of young people reporting that they had engaged in sex before age 17 . The Programme called for clarity on a number of definitions that may be left open to interpretation and the establishment of clear procedures for professionals coming into contact with young people under 17 engaging in consensual sexual activity.
Read more: Submission to the Joint Committee for Health & Children on Children First Bill, 2012.


February 2012.
Submission to the Law Reform Commission’s ‘Sexual Offences and Capacity to Consent’ Consultation Paper.
This submission was developed in partnership with Children and Families Services, Health Promotion Unit, Mental Health Services, National Advocacy Unit and the National Disability Unit.
The HSE welcomes the move from a protectionist perspective to a rights-based approach in relation to the matter of intellectual disability and sexual consent. A key recommendation is that legislation on capacity to consent to sexual relations should be developed alongside the provision of contextually appropriate sex education.
Read more: Submission to the Law Reform Commission’s ‘Sexual Offences and Capacity to Consent Consultation Paper.


November 2011. Submission to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Statement of Strategy 2011 – 2014.

The Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme recommends a whole-of-government approach to improving the quality of life of children and young people, particularly in relation to the needs of vulnerable children, the implementation of relationships and sexuality education, and responding to the contraceptive needs of sexually active minors.
Read more: Submission to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs Statement of Strategy 2011 – 2014.


October 2011.
Submission to the Department of Health on Your Health is Your Wealth – Public Health Policy Framework 2012-2020.
The Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme’s submission puts forth sexual health and crisis pregnancy as key considerations in the development of a public health framework which need to be considered as part of the wider social, economic and environmental factors that influence health.
Read more: Submission to the Department of Health on Your Health is Your Wealth – Public Health Policy Framework 2012-2020.


June 2010.
Submission to the Law Reform Commission’s Consultation Paper ‘Children and the Law: Medical Treatment’.
A key recommendation from the Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme is that young people be made aware of the emphasis on child protection policies in the case of sexual health consultations and that they may be subjected to an assessment of capacity and invoking parental involvement. The Programme recommends best-practice guidelines and support for healthcare professionals to assist them with sexual health consultations with minors.
Read more: Submission to the Law Reform Commission’s Consultation Paper ‘Children and the Law: Medical Treatment’.


April 2010.
Submission to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) on the Draft National Quality Standards for Residential and Foster Care Services for Children and Young People.
A key recommendation is to ensure as far as possible that residential care staff and foster parents are trained to recognise and manage the needs of young people engaging or at risk of engaging in sexual behaviour.
The Programme also recommends that an assessment of ‘relationships and sexual health’ be included in young people’s care plans.
Read more: Submission to HIQA on the Draft National Quality Standards for Residential and Foster Care Services for Children and Young People.

Click here for a full list oh Crisis Pregancy Programme research reports.

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