Children Act, 2001

Functions of Board.

227.—(1) The Board shall advise the Ministers on policy relating to the remand and detention of children and ensure the efficient, effective and coordinated delivery of services to children in respect of whom children detention orders or special care orders are made and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, shall—

(a) coordinate the delivery of residential accommodation and support services to children detained in children detention schools and special care units,

(b) ensure the appropriate and efficient utilisation of such schools and units, having particular regard to the principle that detention of children in children detention schools or special care units is a measure of last resort,

(c) liaise with courts in relation to the level and nature of services available for children who are charged with offences or in need of special care or protection,

(d) in particular, assist the courts, on request, in identifying suitable places in children detention schools for children found guilty of offences and for that purpose liaise with the directors of those schools,

(e) give its views on any proposal of a health board, pursuant to section 23A(2)(b) (inserted by section 16 ) of the Act of 1991, to apply for a special care order under Part IVA of that Act,

(f) monitor and regularly review the level and nature of such residential accommodation and support services, having regard to the current and anticipated demand for them, and recommend to the Ministers any adjustments in the provision of such accommodation or services which the Board considers to be necessary,

(g) promote, organise or take part in seminars, conferences, lectures or demonstrations (whether in the State or elsewhere) relating to the detention of children or delinquent behaviour by children,

(h) collect, maintain, research and evaluate statistics and other data relating to the detention of children, and

(i) ensure a coordinated approach to—

(i) the development and provision of educational, cultural and linguistic, child care and other programmes for children detained in such schools and units,

(ii) the development and provision of the physical infrastructure necessary to support the programmes and services provided by those schools and units, and

(iii) the training of the staff of children detention schools and special care units.

(2) Where the Board considers that there is a lack of coordination in the provision of residential accommodation to children detained in children detention schools and special care units or that the support services to such children are not being utilised in an appropriate or efficient manner, it shall make appropriate recommendations to the Ministers for the improvement of such coordination or utilisation.

(3) The Board, in performing its functions, shall have regard to the policies and objectives of the Government or any Minister of the Government in so far as they may affect or relate to those functions.

(4) The Board shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the exercise of its functions.