Children’s services publication statement 15 October 2021

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published an inspection report on a children’s residential centre.

HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 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. 

An announced inspection of a statutory children’s residential centre in the Tusla Dublin Mid-Leinster region was carried out between 4 and 5 August 2021. The centre was found to be compliant or substantially compliant with the majority of the nine national standards assessed, and moderate non-compliant with one standard.

This centre had a strong management team that ensured practice was child-focused and inclusive of children’s families. Although there were staff vacancies, the centre continued to operate at maximum capacity with the help of a consistent group of agency staff, and children benefited from this. Children had a positive experience of the centre and felt safe there. Family members were happy with the care their children received and social workers spoke highly of the staff team and their practice.

It was evident throughout the inspection that children were kept active, and although they had experienced limited opportunities to join, for example, local sports clubs, the staff team kept them busy and occupied. Participation and consultation with children was good and they were considerably involved with the development of their plans and attended meetings where their voice was heard.

There were some areas of improvement in the centre including consistency in the use of low-level restrictive practices, such as locking some internal doors at night. The centre allowed some young people who had reached 18 years of age to remain in the centre for a specific period of time, but more consideration was needed on how the rights of these young adults were promoted in everyday life in a children’s residential setting. 

The most significant area of improvement was in the area of medication management. Medication administration records did not consistently record if a medication was not administered or refused and there was no record of medication incidents. Regular audits were carried out, but did not identify these errors. Furthermore, self-administration of medication had not been considered for the current group of young people living in the centre, despite their age and need to develop independent living skills in this regard.  

The report and compliance plan are available at the link below.