Have your say on social care services for children in Northern Ireland

2 mins read

Friday 17 November 2023

The Department of Health has recently commissioned a report into social care services in Northern Ireland and made a number of recommendations for improvements.

We will be responding to this report, and we want to include the views and experiences of families with disabled children in Northern Ireland.

What are the recommendations?

There are 53 recommendations in total. They address the range of issues currently facing the services and how best to meet the needs of children and families who access them. 

Our response will focus on the following six recommendations:

  • There needs to be a re-set and re-focus for children’s social care services to give a greater focus and attention to family support (recommendation 22).
  • The success and contribution of Sure Start should be recognised. Along with other family support services, Sure Start should be expanded, including for children aged four-10 years (recommendation 23).
  • Respite care for children with a disability should be expanded. Children receiving respite care should not be seen as looked-after children (recommendation 30).
  • Extend the transition period where appropriate and necessary for young people moving to adult services (recommendation 31).
  • Introduce a region-wide transitions advice and advocacy service (recommendation 32).
  • To tackle with pace the difficulties facing children’s social care services (recommendation 50).

Share your thoughts with us

If you have ever used any of the services mentioned or they’ve affected you in some way, we would welcome your thoughts.

We want to know whether you agree with these recommendations, as well as your views on how to improve them. Please feel free to comment on as few or as many as you see fit.

If you would like to contribute to our response, please email Susan Walls, Head of Programmes, at susan.walls@contact.org.uk by Thursday 30 November at 12 noon.

You’ll find full details of the report, the recommendations and the consultation questions on the Department of Health website. You can also share your views directly on any of the 53 recommendations and see the 66 consultation questions in full. (You don’t need to answer every question). Use the link above and select “Consultation Questionnaire” before 1 December 2023.

More information

Visit our social care web pages for more information and advice on accessing practical support for your disabled child.

Visit our Contact Northern Ireland to stay up-to-date with our local team.