New Approaches Needed To Help Children In Care
Children In Care
Northern Ireland Government must develop new approaches to improving services for children in care.
The Minister emphasised that implementing the Care Matters strategy will be key in delivering long-term, fundamental reform of services for children in care over the next decade and more.
Speaking after an Assembly debate on the strategy, the Minister said: "Children in care are our special responsibility and our expectations for them should also be the same as they are for our own children.
"However, the harsh facts are that outcomes for children in care are often poor in comparison with their peers, with most facing the prospect of poor educational attainment and conflict with the law and suffering from low self-esteem, greater risk of mental health problems and uncertainty about the future.
"Through 'Care Matters in Northern Ireland', we have a unique opportunity to tackle these issues at every level. The document outlines a radical new approach to developing and enhancing services with a view to improving the lives of looked after children."
The strategy sets out a number of ambitious goals including: