Consultation on proposals to extend modifications to children’s social care regulations

Closes 22 Apr 2021

Opened 8 Apr 2021


On 7 May 2020, the Children’ Social Care (Coronavirus) (Temporary Modification of Children’s Social Care) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 came into operation to provide Health & Social Care Trusts [HSCTs] and other children’s social care providers with temporary modifications to enable them to support and protect children and their families effectively during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic up until 7 November 2020.

In October 2020, the Department extended the modifications for a further six months period up to 7 May 2021.

The use of the modifications has been monitored and reported on a monthly basis since they came into operation. Monitoring indicates that the modifications have been used proportionately and in line with the progress of the pandemic.

Evidence from the February 2021 monitoring report shows that the modifications continue to be used with reasonable frequency in a small number of areas.

Why we are consulting

Given the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued reliance on the regulations, the Department of Health is proposing to retain the modifications relating to a small number of areas of practice for a further six months up to 7 November 2021. We are inviting interested individuals and organisations to comment on what is being proposed.

About this consultation

This consultation document sets out:

  • The regulations we propose to apply modifications to up to 7 November 2021; and
  • The reasons for extending and modifying the regulations and the safeguards we will put in place to ensure that they are used moderately, proportionately and only if necessary to deal with the challenge of the ongoing pandemic.

We would like to hear your views on our proposals.


  • DOJ Staff
  • DFC Staff
  • DE Staff
  • DOH Staff
  • HSCNI Staff
  • PHA Staff
  • Associate Assessors
  • Inspectors
  • Teachers
  • Stakeholders
  • Schools
  • Early Years Educators
  • Pre-School Education Settings
  • Other Stakeholders
  • Academy Participants
  • Bridge to Employment Participants
  • Service users/patients
  • Carers
  • Advocate groups
  • Community/Voluntary sector organisations
  • Health and social care providers – statutory
  • Health and social care providers – non-statutory
  • Health professionals
  • Health and social care staff
  • Health and social care regulators
  • Staff representatives/Unions
  • Royal Colleges
  • Political representatives
  • Benefits Customers
  • CMS
  • Community & Voluntary Organisations
  • Schools
  • Staff


  • Primary Education
  • Post-Primary Education
  • Pre-school Education
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Youth Sector and Youth Services
  • Disability
  • Employment
  • Services and programmes
  • Health and social care policy
  • Health and social care legislation
  • Quality and safety
  • Regulation of health and social care
  • Provision of health and social care services
  • Improvement of health and social care services
  • Family Justice
  • Employment
  • Supporting People