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.
Notes to Editors
- You can read the Chief Executive's speech at the launch here.
- Mr Steven Agnew’s Private Member’s Bill was laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly on December 8th, 2014. It will now go forward towards its Second Stage in the Assembly.
- The Commissioner’s report into ‘Barriers to Government Delivery for Children and Young People identified how departments working in silos affects services.
- You can read the ‘Barriers’ report here
- The report on the ‘transition’ for young people with learning disabilities to adult services highlighted the need for integrated planning education and health and social care.You can read the Transitions report here.
- The report on participation also highlighted the lack of co-operation. Read it here
- As did the Commissioner’s report on adolescent suicide which you can read here.