Draft Foster Placement and Fostering Agencies Regulations (Northern Ireland)

Consultation opened on 27 October 2022. Closing date 23 December 2022.


It is intended that the new Foster Placement and Fostering Agencies Regulations (“the draft Regulations”) will, once made, revoke and replace The Foster Placement (Children) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996. The draft Regulations will allow Health and Social Care Trusts to make arrangements for fostering agencies to assess and approve foster parents on their behalf, subject to a written agreement. The new Regulations will also bring fostering agencies within the scope of inspection and regulation by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.


Consultation description

The draft Regulations were previously consulted on in 2014. Regrettably, it was not possible to progress the Regulations. Given the passage of time since the Regulations were last consulted on, it is considered that a further consultation exercise is necessary to be able to progress the Regulations.

In order to inform responses, a summary of the consultation feedback received in 2014 is provided and the Department’s proposed actions, including where changes have been made to the draft Regulations as a result. The Department is also seeking views on some additional issues that have arisen since the original consultation took place.

On 28 March 2024, the Department published the Consultation Analysis Report summarising the outcome of the consultation exercise. The report is available on our website.

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