Implementing The Children (NI) Order 1995 - Researching the Initial Impact on Social Services Provision to Disabled Children in Northern Ireland

Marina Monteith, Wendy Cousins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Children (Nl) Order 1995 was implemented in November 1996. This paper summarises the findings of a research project carried out by the Centre for Child Care Research studying the initial impact of the Order on the planning and provision of personal social services for disabled children and their families. The Order recognises disabled children as children first and foremost and raises their profile and priority in social policy in relation to families and child care. The research found that there had been some development of support services with indications of increased service delivery, and re-structuring of organisational arrangements. Generally, researchers found that professionals in both statutory and voluntary agencies thought that the profile of disabled children had been raised within Health and Social Service Trusts. There was also evidence of improved partnership working with other statutory agencies and with the voluntary sector, and developments in terms of partnership working with parents. However, progress has been slow regarding implementing the registers of disabled children and in developing ways of listening to the views of disabled children. In addition, the need for good information sources is becoming critical to both needs assessment and service provision, so that real advancement can be made towards the development of needs-led services. The research found that, while progress has been made in implementing the Children (Nl) Order in relation to disabled children, there is still some way to go if the underpinning philosophy is to be fully achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-252
JournalChild Care in Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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