There is a specific team of inspectors allocated to monitor and regulate some children’s social services. The children’s team inspects and monitors statutory Children’s Residential Centres, statutory and private Foster Care Services, Special Care Units, and Oberstown Children Detention Campus. We also inspect Child Protection and Welfare Services. We do not currently have a legal remit to monitor private children’s residential centres.

This process is carried out through inspections, reviewing notifications and solicited information (information we ask for) and unsolicited information (information which people tell us through our concerns function). We then publish our inspection reports  on our website. Sometimes reports may not be published on our website if they could potentially identify a child.

How we make our decisions:

We have adopted a common approach to inspecting and making judgments.

The common approach is informed by our assessment framework and judgment framework for each of the functions we inspect. These documents seek to provide assurance that our work is transparent and consistent. The assessment framework’s are publicly available so that everyone can see that we make our decisions in a fair and consistent way.

The assessment framework identifies the lines of enquiry inspectors should follow up on as part of the inspection. The judgment framework outlines the degree to which an aspect of the service may be deemed by HIQA to be non compliant with regulations and or National Standards – be it major non-compliance, a moderate non-compliance or substantially in compliance.  

During an inspection:

During the inspection, the inspector(s) will make observations about:

  • the centre/service.
  • The care provided,
  • how children’s rights are promoted and upheld,
  • and how the centre/service is managed and governed.

The inspector(s) will be happy to speak to the children, family members, representative, or staff member/social worker; and will also understand that some children and relatives may not want to talk with an inspector.

The inspector(s) will also provide children with an opportunity to complete a questionnaire should they wish to do so. This allows the children to provide feedback to HIQA should they wish to do so. Throughout the inspection process, the inspector(s) will be required to act in line with our Code of Conduct for Inspectors  and our Code of Business Conduct . Where concerns arise, we encourage services to inform us as soon as possible.

After an inspection:

An inspection report is produced after each inspection.

If the report does not identify any individual resident, the report will be published. If a report potentially does identify a child, for example in a very small residential centre, the report will not be published online. However, whether reports are published online or not, Tusla should make HIQA inspection reports available to the children living in the centre and their families once they have been finalised.

Our codes of conduct

HIQA has prepared documents in relation to how we operate and what to expect from HIQA staff during an inspection and your dealings with us.

Complaints

There is an opportunity to provide feedback to our inspectors during each inspection.

We always ask that service providers take this opportunity. In the unlikely event that an issue of concern arises about the conduct of an inspection then these documents may be of assistance: