Children’s Health Law

Children’s rights in relation to Health and Social Care Trusts

Often, parents/carers are not aware of both theirs, and their children’s legal entitlements from their local Health and Social Care Trust. Health Trust’s have a clear legal duty to formally assess ‘children in need’ or with disabilities, and their parents/carers in order to establish a) what their unique needs are and b) what types of support they are obligated to offer to meet those needs.

Parents/Carers also have the right to seek to be assessed in their own right and offered services and support to help them manage better with their child’s disabilities. Do not accept excuses from Health Care Trusts who refuse, for whatever reason, to do so. Ask for a formal carers assessment straight away.

We understand that a child’s disability does not simply stop when they return home from school, or cease during the summer holidays. That is why it is important to understand that the law places duties on Health Care Trusts to, for example,

  • Provide a Social Worker to disabled children/’children in need’ and their families
  • Assess individual disabled children/’children in need’ and their carers and, where appropriate, provide a range of services to meet their needs, regardless of staff shortages or resource arguments. Such services can be virtually anything that could ‘safeguard and promote’ the welfare of the child in question
  • Provide information about services that may be available
  • Act in accordance with their duties under Article 18 of the Children (NI) Order 1995 and the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (NI) Act 1978

We have taken a multitude of legal challenges against Health Trusts for their failure to act in accordance with their statutory obligations in this regard. This has resulted in additional services being supplied to children and their families.

Under Article 21 of the Children (NI) Order 1995 Health Trusts have a legal obligation to provide accomodation to any child in need in its area who appear to require accomodation in certain circumstances. This can also include accomodation of their parents/siblings in some occasions. Please contact our office for further advice in this area.

Need assistance?

Please contact our office in order to see if we can assist you in the above, or any other matters. We offer a free initial consultation in some circumstances.