Inspection of Child Protection Services

The need for an inspection of Child Protection Services in Northern Ireland was identified during the consultation on the former Social Services Inspectorate’s inspection programme for 2002 - 2005.  The inspection continued into 2006 as a 5th Trust was added to the programme.
The reports arising from the inspection identify many areas of good practice and good quality work undertaken by highly motivated staff who are working in extremely pressurised and high risk situations, in both fieldwork and residential children’s services.  The reports have sought to identify both what is working well and where improvements are still needed.  Severe pressures and difficulties were, however, identified across the HSC Board and Trusts with systematic failures in a number of Trusts in the discharge of statutory functions and a lack of appropriate safeguards for children within fieldwork and residential settings.
The reports, with their recommendations to the Board, Trusts, key agencies and Government Departments, together with the draft standards provide a clear and coherent framework for the future provision of robust, high quality child protection services.
The final child protection standards were issued in July 2008.  The child protection standards are applicable to all public bodies, organisations, professionals and persons who provide statutory services to children.  They also establish a framework of best practice in child protection for voluntary, community and independent sector organisations and practitioners (including counsellors and therapists working in a private capacity) who work with or have significant contact with children and young people. They should also help families and members of the public understand how services work to protect children and the important contribution they themselves can make to the safeguarding of children and young people. The standards can be accessed at:
The Overview Report can be accessed at:
The reports and associated action plans can be accessed as follows:


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