Strategy for children and young people in care in Northern Ireland published


In February, the Departments of Health and Education in Northern Ireland published their looked after children’s strategy to improve the wellbeing of looked after children and young people A Life Deserved: “Caring” for Children & Young People in Northern Ireland.


During the consultation phase we were pleased to influence the strategy with our members’ views and experiences. 


In the strategy they acknowledge the importance of relationships and staying in contact with former foster carers. Amongst other things, they have committed to:


  • Pilot cross-departmental trauma informed practice and a build wider capacity and understanding of trauma awareness
  • Expand the number of specialist foster carers to support young people with additional needs
  • Introduce legislation to:
    • strengthen and extend permanence options through the introduction of a Special Guardianship Order and automatic extension of a Residence Order in respect of looked after children to age 18
    • strengthen care planning
    • strengthen panel assessment and decision making arrangements for foster carers, including the establishment of a review mechanism of such approval decisions
  • Provide tailored support to looked after children in education to ensure they have a positive and engaging learning experience, address the attainment gap and put a duty on Health and Social Care Trusts to promote children in care’s education


Read the strategy.