National standards describe what children and families using services should expect when they experience a particular social care service. When we visit services, we look at what is written down about children and how they are being cared for. Inspectors look at children’s files to see what is going well for them, and if there are any things that the service could do to make their lives better. We also look at complaints that have been made about the service to see if children have been unhappy with anything and what was done to improve the service.
We visit children who live in residential care, special care, detention and foster care to find out how children living in these places are getting along. We also inspect child protection services to make sure that children who live in families that need some extra support in order to do well, are getting the help that they need. We do not currently have a legal remit to monitor private children’s residential centres.
We then publish the findings of our inspection reports on our website. Sometimes reports may not be published due to the potential identifiable nature of the children, particularly in a small residential centre. Whether a report is published or not, Tusla and or the service provider will receive a copy of the report, which can be made available to children living in the centre and/or their families.
Children’s inspectors are always happy to meet with children, their families, significant others, foster carers, guardians ad litem and staff while on inspection.
Below is a description of the different types of services we inspect: