Children’s services publication statement 13 December 2018
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published two inspection reports on children’s residential centres.
HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs under Section 69 of the Child Care Act, 1991 as amended by Section 26 of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011, to inspect children’s residential care services provided by the Child and Family Agency (Tusla). HIQA monitors Tusla’s performance against the National Standards for Children’s Residential Centres and reports on its findings to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
An unannounced inspection of a centre in the South region, on 11 and 12 September 2018 found that children felt safe in the centre and were provided with good-quality, child-centred care. Children’s rights were respected and children were included in the decision-making process and kept informed about all aspects of their care.
A new model of care had been introduced in the centre which provided a clearer focus for the staff in their work with the children. Staff were trained to support children and manage their behaviours in a way that did not involve any physical interventions or restrictive practice.
Children’s education was valued and children were facilitated to attend school or educational placements and were assisted with homework. Staff worked closely with other professionals regarding the children’s educational needs.
The centre was well managed on a day-to-day basis and the staff team was experienced and committed to the children. There was good operational oversight of the centre and training, supervision and support of staff was of good quality. However, inspectors found that training on the implementation of the risk management policy was required and improvement was required in the recording of actions arising from supervision.
The premises had recently been painted and efforts had been made to create a homely atmosphere. However, the premises presented challenges in terms of its layout and a number of issues regarding an unused building and landscaping needed to be addressed.
In an unannounced inspection of a centre in the West region, on 11 and 12 September 2018, inspectors found that children were happy living in the centre and that they felt safe. Staff were knowledgeable about the emotional and psychological needs of the children and children were consulted in relation to their residential treatment plans to help them address their specific complex needs.
Children were communicated with in a respectful manner and staff were aware of their individual needs. Children’s rights to privacy and dignity were generally upheld, but the practice of checking children while they slept did not fully promote this.
The centre was well managed and staff and managers demonstrated sufficient knowledge in safeguarding and child protection. A number of systems were in place to ensure there was good communication, leadership and accountability. The inspectors reviewed training records and found that there was a gap in the provision of some mandatory training.