Child board invests in IT support
1 April 2005 | 0
Northern Ireland’s Guardian Ad Litem Agency (NIGALA) has invested in an IT support contract to improve its communications procedures.
The agency represents the welfare of children within the Northern Ireland legal system. To that end, it has engaged the IT provider Sx3 as its hardware and software support provider. The company is also providing NIGALA with a guaranteed eight-hour response time on faults and repairs.
NIGALA’s role is to represent children’s best interests within the legal system, appointing independent social workers or ‘guardians ad litem’ whose role is to ensure that the voice of the child is heard in the family court. This regional service, which has three offices in Northern Ireland, handles around 500 cases each year. As the cases are often sensitive in nature, confidentiality, accuracy and flow of communication is critical.
The agency has 40 guardians ad litem on its books, who are typically based at one of its three offices in Belfast, Armagh and Derry.
‘Each guardian needs to be in regular communication with the children’s solicitors, the respective courts throughout Northern Ireland, and with our headquarters in Belfast,’ said Declan McAllister, business manager of NIGALA. ‘So a reliable IT communications system is a necessity.’