Where there are serious concerns about the safety of a child, the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) may seek a Special Care Order through the courts, to place the child in what is called ‘special care’. Children receive the additional help and supports they need. Special care is a building where the external doors are locked. Children attend school on the grounds of the special care unit.
Special care units are prescribed as 'designated centres' in the Health Act 2007 (as amended by the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011). HIQA has, among its legal functions, the responsibility to regulate the quality and safety of services provided in special care units.