12 Jan 2015

12 January 2015

Co-operation is way forward for children’s services

CHIEF Executive of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Mairéad McCafferty, today said that children and young people must be at the centre of children’s services.

Ms McCafferty, welcoming the introduction of Steven Agnew’s (MLA) Children’s Services Co-Operation Bill, reiterated NICCY had considerable evidence that a lack of coordination in children’s services was affecting some of the most vulnerable children.

“We have a lot of evidence of a lack of coordination in the development and delivery of strategies for children and young people, with departmental silos taking precedence over delivering what is needed.”

“What is clear is that poor co-ordination is very common not only across all children’s services but particularly in services for vulnerable children with complex needs.”

Ms McCafferty highlighted that other parts of the United Kingdom had legislation which makes it a statutory duty to work together to plan and deliver children’s services.

“There is evidence that these have had a positive impact on the coordination of these services,” she said.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that government must coordinate services.

“It is clear that a duty to co-operate in the planning and delivery of children’s services can result in better outcomes for children and young people,” concluded Ms McCafferty.

ENDS

Notes to Editors