‘Infighting’ blamed for poor service

Children are suffering as a result of bureaucratic infighting
between public bodies in Northern Ireland, voluntary groups have

Responding to proposals to re-organise public administration in the
province, the voluntary child care group Children in Northern
Ireland complained that having many public bodies with overlapping
boundaries led to a “tendency to remain in silos”, with no-one
taking overall responsibility.

“The sector believes strongly that there should be central
responsibility for children and young people’s issues to remove
this potential for fudging responsibility.”

Nigel Williams, commissioner for children and young people in
Northern Ireland, argued that health, education and social services
should be delivered by five to seven unified bodies, and that a
director for children’s services should be appointed for each

Earlier this month, Ian Pearson MP, the minister responsible for
the review, indicated that he wished to see Northern Ireland’s 26
local councils being reduced to “single figures”. Final proposals
are due to be published in the autumn.

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