Eamon McTernan, Assistant, Director, Family, Childcare, WHSSB, Hardiker, key concepts, planning tools, developed, adapted, through, inter agency, planning
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Eamon McTernan WHSSB. Hardiker
Children's Services Planning in Northern Ireland: Developing a Planning Model to Address Rights and Needs

Authors: Eamon McTernan - Eamon McTernan is Assistant Director of Family and Childcare for the WHSSB;
Ann Godfrey - Ann Godfrey is Children's Services Planner for the Southern Area Children & Young People's Committee

Publication Frequency: 4 issues per year
Published in: Child Care in Practice, Volume 12, Issue 3 July 2006 , pages 219 - 240
Subjects: Child Care & Child Protection; Children & Childhood;
Formats available: HTML (English) : PDF (English)
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This article reflects on a number of key concepts and planning tools that have been developed or adapted through the inter-agency planning of services for children and young people in Northern Ireland (Children's Services Planning).
These conceptual models have been developed between 1999 and 2005 and illustrate the key contribution of Children's Services Planning to two significant shifts in how the planning task has been understood. These refer to, firstly, the movement from service orientation to needs orientation, and secondly, the progression from needs to rights within service planning.

Children's Services Planning in Northern Ireland is now based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Whole Child Model, which demonstrates the understanding that there is no such thing as a uni-dimensional child who only requires services from one agency. The Family Support model has been in use for some years within the process, and the joint outcomes framework, to be designed to enable agencies to address rights and needs has also been adopted across all four Children and Young People's Committees. In terms of outcomes, an overarching Strategy for Children and Young People will develop an outcomes framework within Northern Ireland, which is likely to build upon that of Every Child Matters, as well as children's rights. Children's Services Planning has also demonstrated that the approach to planning of universal services must be consistent with the planning of services for children with additional needs. There needs to be a strong linkage between the planning and delivery of universal and targeted services.

It is a contention of the article that concepts such as those described are required for multi-sectoral planning, and that a whole system planning approach is required to address the rights and needs of children and young people.

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  • Pauline Hardiker worked as a medical secretary and community worker before going to Leicester University, where she obtained a B.A. (Social Science) and an M.A. (Sociology). She taught sociology and psychology at Stevenage College of Further Education, and moved to the School of Social Work at Leicester in 1969.

    Eamon McTernan
    Principal Social Worker (Children’s Services Planning)
    Western Health and Social Services Board
    Area Board Headquarters
    15 Gransha Park
    Clooney Road Telephone:
    028 71 860086
    BT47 6FN
    Fax: 028 71 860311
    e-mail: emcternan@whssb.n-i.nhs.uk


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