VCS Representation on the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme –***Nominations Now Closed***

6 Dec 2023 Kathy Maguire    Last updated: 4 Feb 2024

Children's Social Care Services Reform Programme Logo

On behalf of the Department of Health, NICVA is currently seeking nominations for Voluntary Community Sector positions across the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme. 

***Please note the deadline for VCS Nominations to the Programme Board/Workstreams is now closed - we will provide an update on the outcome of the Nomination process by end Feburary 2024 - We are no longer accepting nominations***

Summary of the selection and appointment process

The Department of Health has appointed NICVA to undertake a selection process to nominate representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector to the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme. 

NICVA is now inviting organisations working within the sector to nominate representatives to be considered for a range of positions across the programmes structures.

A total of 27 VCS positions are available, including membership of the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme Board and the position of Co-Chair of the Family Support Workstream.

The application process is open from Wednesday 6th December 2023 and now closes at 12pm on Friday 26thJanuary 2024 and voluntary and community sector organisations are invited to consider and make nominations during this period.

Organisations can apply for any number of the available positions (one application is required per position) but can only be represented once on the programme.

A Selection Panel made up of two Voluntary and Community Sector representatives of NICVA’s Executive Board and a senior representative from the Department of Health will consider and agree appointment recommendations for each of the 27 positions across the Reform Programme.

The Panels nominations will be based on their assessment of all applications against selection criteria provided by the Programme Board.

The Panel will then confirm their nominations to the Chair and Board of the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme.

Final decision making on all appointments and the creation of reserve lists for each available position will be made by the Chair of the Programme Board.

It is anticipated that all VCS appointments will be confirmed by late February 2024. We will update this timeline, if and when more information becomes available.

What is the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme

The Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme is seeking to deliver reform within children’s social care services to address a range of known service challenges, particularly in relation to the increasing volume and complexity of case work.  It is also seeking to draw together a number of strands of ongoing reform work, including the Regional Care and Justice Campus Programme and workforce-related reform.

Reform Structures

The Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme Board (‘the Board’) is responsible for providing strategic oversight, direction & governance for the delivery of the reform programme.  It ensures that a robust programme plan (supported by workstream plans) is in place and is monitoring progress of the workstreams against the plan.

The role of the Board is to:

  • Provide overall strategic direction for the programme;
  • Promote co-ordinated activity and collaboration within and across organisational boundaries;
  • Ensure the required resources are available;
  • Monitor progress against agreed milestones, providing support and challenge, as necessary;
  • Advise on contingencies and counter-measures to mitigate the impact of any potential risks to progress; and
  • Expedite decision making should implementation issues require escalation.

Terms of Reference for the Programme Board can be viewed here.

The Board has established the following 9 workstreams (the Terms of Reference for each can be viewed by clicking on the relevant title below) :

1 Waiting Lists
2 Workforce
3 Residential Placement Capacity
4 Fostering
5 Children with a Disability
6 Regional Care and Justice Campus Implementation
7 Policy and Legislative Reform
8 Reducing Bureaucracy
9 Family Support

What VCS positions are available within the Reform Programme

Given the extent to which the voluntary and community sector works with and supports children and families across Northern Ireland, it is critical that the sector is part of the strategic effort to deliver much needed reform.

In total, there are 27 VCS positions available * within the Reform Programme as follows:

  • 2 x Members of the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme Board (‘the Board’);
  • 2 x Members of each of Workstreams 1 to 8;
  • 8 x Members of Workstream 9 (Family Support); and
  • 1 x Co-chair of the Family Support Workstream.

The Terms of Reference for the Programme Board and Workstreams 1-9 can be found here. 

* A reserve list of two will be held for all roles within the Programme, which will be called upon in the event that any VCS representative withdraws from a role.

Task and Finish Groups (*Updated Information*)

In addition, it is possible that Task and Finish Groups will be established to undertake specific pieces of work on behalf of the Programme Board or any of the Workstreams.

This Application Form/Process will be utilised to gather expressions of interest from VCS organisations to participate in these.

If your think your organisation might be interested in participating in any of these, please express your interest by completing ANNEX 1 of the Application Form . Applicants/Organisations are asked to indicate whether they would like to participate in Task and Finish Groups and for which Structures/Workstream(s).

Organisations can express interest in Task and Finish Groups for any/all of the programme Structures/Workstream(s), as feel appropriate.

VCS Appointments to Task and Finish Groups, will be in addition to any VCS appointments made to the Programme Board/Workstream(s) via this current VCS Nomination/Application process and will be decided by the Chairs/Co-Chairs of the relevant Structure/Workstream(s), at a later date.

No decisions on the final membership of Task and Finish Groups will be made via this current process.

NICVA will gather details of all VCS expressions of interest and forward a register of these to the Department of Health, along with relevant contact details as provided by organisations.

Details of interested organisations will be passed to the Chairs/Co-Chairs of the relevant Structure/Workstream(s), as appropriate, who will be responsible for decision making on membership and any further follow up with VCS organisations directly.

How will Voluntary and Community Sector appointments to the Reform Programme be made

The nomination selection process will be in three stages.  NICVA will manage the first and second stages on behalf of the Programme Board.

Stage 1 will involve an open call for nominations by NICVA via advertisement on the NICVA site supported by a wider communications plan to raise awareness across the sector of the various nomination opportunites available.

VCS organisations will be invited to make nominations/submit application(s) between Wednesday 6th December 2023 and 12pm on Friday 26th January 2024.

NICVA staff will then collate all nominations received and convene a Selection Panel to review and score all applications against selection criteria provided by the Programme Board.

The Selection Panel will be made up of two Voluntary and Community sector representatives of NICVA’s Executive Board and a senior representative from the Department of Health.

The Selection Panel will consider and agree appointment recommendations for each of the available positions across the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme based on their assessment of all applications against the selection criteria provided.

Stage 2 will involve the making of appointment recommendations to the Chair and Board of the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme based on the assessment of applications.

A 3rd and Final stage will involve the making of final decisions on appointments and the creation of reserve lists for each available position by the Chair of the Programme Board. NICVA and/or the Selection Panel will have no involvement in decision making at this stage.

The aim is to complete the selection process as promptly as possible after the date of closing and to advise applicants of the outcome as soon as is practical. It is anticipated that confirmation of VCS appointments will be made by the end of February 2024.

As previously stated a reserve list of two candidates will be held for all roles within the Programme, which will be called upon in the event that any representative withdraws from a role.

Successful applicants will be notified of their appointment by the Programme Board/Department of Health directly. An update on the timescale for this will be provided upon receipt of applications.

A full list of all Voluntary and Community Sector appointments will be available to view on the NICVA website once they have been confirmed by the Programme Board.

 

How can organisations make a nomination(s) - 

 

***Please note the deadline for VCS Nominations to the Programme Board/Workstreams is now closed - we will provide an update on the outcome of the Nomination process by end Feburary 2024 - We are no longer accepting nominations.***

  1. To make a nomination please download and complete the Application Form.
  2. Organisations can apply for any number of the available positions (one application is required per position) but can only be represented once on the programme.
  3. A separate Application Form must be completed for each position/structure your organisation wishes to make a nomination.
  4. Applications should only made via the agreed Application Form. Additional pages will not be accepted. If you require a different format or method of return, please contact Kathy Maguire E: [email protected].
  5. The Application Form contains further information on the selection process and important guidance on how the form should be completed based on the position for which you wish to apply.
  6. Applicants are asked to review all the information contained within the application form, prior to completing.  
  7. Terms of Reference pertaining to all available positions including the Children’s Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme Board (‘the Board’) and Workstreams 1 to 9 can be found here.
  8. Please ensure you read all relevant supporting information/Terms of Reference prior to completing and submitting an application.
  9. On the Application form please clearly select the programme structure/position that you wish to apply for.
  10. All applications must have the support of the CEO/Director/Chair of the Applicant’s Employing Organisation, as appropriate and they should be clearly named on the Application Form (Electronic signatures are preferred but not essential). They should also be cc’d into the applicants  email application return.
  11. Applicants are advised to check their application for completeness, prior to submitting.
  12. Applications should be returned to NICVA via email to: [email protected]
  13. All applications should be returned by no later than 12pm on Friday 26th January 2024. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
  14. NICVA will aim to acknowledge receipt of all applications within 72 hrs. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact Susan Glass E: [email protected] to advise.
  15. For all other queries regarding the application process, please email: [email protected] NICVA staff will aim to respond to all queries within 72 hrs. If you do not receive a response to your query within this timeframe please contact NICVA directly via Tel:(0)28 9087 7777.

Additional information for organisations/applicants to consider

  • At a minimum, all applicants must commit to attending Board/Workstream meetings in accordance with agreed meeting schedules.
  • Appointments will last for 24 months with the option of an extension of a further 12 months.
  • Via this current nomination process only one representative per organisation will be put forward for a position across the Programmealthough organisations can apply for any number of the available positions, and it is possible for more than one individual from an organisation to submit an application.

 

Online Information Session and FAQ's

An online information session was hosted by NICVA on Friday 12th January 2024 for voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations interested in making nominations to the Children's Social Care Services Strategic Reform Programme Board (CSC SRPB) programme.

The information session was chaired by Celine McStravick, CEO, NICVA and Marc Baille, Head of Family Policy Unit, Department of Health was in attendance on behalf of the Department of Health to respond to and take questions and comments on the nomination process.

Prior to the information session organisations where invited to submit written questions for the Department in advance and also had the opportunity to raise questions and make comments during the session. It was agreed at the session that written responses to the main Questions and Queries raised would be provided by the Department after the session. In addition Marc Bailee, DoH advised that the points of concern and comments raised by organisations in attendance would be shared directly with Peter Toogood, as the Senior Responsible Officer for the Reform Programme, within the Department and/or with the wider Programme Board as appropriate.

FAQ's detailing written responses from the Department of Health (DoH) to the questions and queries raised via this session are available to download here.

* Current VCS Representation (**Updated**)

Some Workstreams already include VCS representatives. These new appointments are in addition to existing VCS membership of Workstreams.

  1. The Programme is made up of Workstreams that are new, or existed before the Programme commenced or were reconstituted from existing strands of work. It was agreed by the Programme Board that members could continue to participate in the Workstreams to which they were already assigned.
  2. The DoH has now advised that VCS organisations already involved in Workstreams will be permitted to retain those roles and remain eligible to apply for any of the other available positions through this process and to take up a single further role, should this be offered.  Please note this is a change to the previous guidance from DoH on existing VCS representation of established workstreams – this change was confirmed via written update to NICVA following the online information session for VCS organisations held on the 12th Jan.
kathy.maguire@nicva.org's picture
by Kathy Maguire

Policy Development Officer

[email protected]

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