The Department of Health initiated a review of Children’s Social Care Services, the review intended to provide a roadmap through the current challenges.
The Independent Review commenced in February 2022 and concluded on 21st June 2023. The review was conducted by Professor Ray Jones and was supported by advisors and experts in children's social care. The review makes 53 recommendations.
NCB teamed up with the Reimagine Children's Collective, a collective of major charities working with children, young people, and families in Northern Ireland, to develop a collective response to the Independent Review of Children's Social Care Services.
Key priorities identified in:
- Addressing poverty- Northern Ireland urgently needs an Anti-Poverty Strategy.
- Reduce waiting lists- A need for the Department of Health to develop an action plan to reduce waiting lists for children's social services.
- Stabilising service provision- A call for the NI Executive Departments to suspend tendering/commissioning processes related to established provision until an Executive can approve multi-year budgets and more collaborative forms of contract agreements can be developed.
- Tackling the workforce crisis- Actions should be taken to address the children's social care workforce crisis.
- Improving communication with children, young people, and families- Improved communication from statutory services is critical to improving the experiences of children, young people, parents, and carers.