The Irish Youth Justice Service operates as an executive office located in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It has responsibility for leading and driving reform in the area of youth justice. It is staffed by officials from Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Justice

Responsibility for the Children Act, 2001 is shared between the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Minister for Justice and  Equality

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is responsible for the Oberstown Children Detention Campus (Oberstown) at Oberstown, Lusk, Co. Dublin which provide detention places to the Courts for girls up to the age of 18 years and boys up to the age of 18 years ordered to be remanded or 17 years ordered to be committed on criminal charges. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is also responsible for the child care aspects of the Children Act 2001. The Minister for Justice retains responsibility for youth crime policy and law, including crime prevention/reduction/detection, criminal proceedings and diversion and community sanctions (including community projects). The Minister for Justice also retains responsibility for dealings with An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service as well as responsibility via the Irish Prison Service for children in St. Patrick’s Institution.

The Irish Youth Justice Service aims to improve the delivery of youth justice services and reduce youth offending. This challenge is met by focusing on diversion and rehabilitation involving greater use of community-based interventions and the promotion of initiatives to deal with young people who offend. Providing a safe and secure environment for detained children and supporting their early re-integration back into the community is also a key function.

The Mission Statement of the Youth Justice Action Plan 2014 - 2018 is to create a safer society by working in partnership to reduce youth offending through appropriate interventions and linkages to services.