Consultation opens on Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Services

Date published: 08 September 2023

A consultation has opened to seek views on the majority of the recommendations from the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Services.

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The review, which was conducted by Professor Ray Jones and published in June, makes 53 recommendations setting out how children’s social care services in Northern Ireland should be reshaped.

In the main, the recommendations relate to service provision, both existing and new services, while others focus on structural change at regional and local levels. A number of the recommendations seek to address current workforce pressures. Others relate to how progress is monitored and tracked.

There are some recommendations contained in the Review that we have already decided to implement, largely on the basis that there are some issues of an operational nature that need to be addressed more urgently. In some cases, work to address them is already taking place.

Peter May, Permanent Secretary, said: “We want to get a broad range of views from the public on the recommendations arising from this important piece of work to help us decide what needs to happen next in response to the range of issues identified by the Review.

“We therefore invite you to complete this consultation and make your views known. In considering the recommendations, please refer back to the Review Report to fully understand the context in which they are made.”

Responses are welcome from anyone with an interest in, or views on, the subject covered by this consultation, but in particular:

•           those with lived experience of children’s social care services;

•           those from different groups and communities including from LGBTQIA+, minority ethnic communities and those with a disability;

•           organisations that provide support to children and families;

•           senior leaders and frontline professionals, such as those working in health and social care, education, housing and the criminal justice system;

•           academics and researchers; and

•           the general public.

The consultation runs until 1 December 2023. 

More information on how to respond can be found here.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The review was commissioned by the former Health Minister, Robin Swann.
  2. The individuals and organisations affected by this consultation are children, young people and their parents / carers and families, community and voluntary organisations, public authorities in Northern Ireland and other government departments or arm’s-length bodies. The list above is not intended to be exhaustive or exclusive.
  3. Views are being sought in connection with the majority of the 53 recommendations, although a greater level of detail is being sought in relation to those recommendations which we consider require consultation as they are significant in policy and operational terms.
  4. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
  5. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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