Children’s services publication statement 19 September 2022

Date of publication:

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, 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. 

Announced inspections of two statutory children’s residential centres in the Tusla South and Dublin Mid Leinster regions were carried out in June 2022. Of the ten standards assessed during each of these inspections, one centre was found to be compliant with eight standards and the second centre was compliant with seven standards. Both centres were substantially compliant with two of the ten standards assessed, with one centre being found non-compliant with one standard. Both centres had a compliance plan in place to address the deficits.

Both centres were found to have appropriate governance and management structures in place to monitor practice and oversee the delivery of care to children and young people. Each centre’s statement of purpose and function clearly described the model of service delivered in the centre. There were sufficient numbers of competent and experienced staff working in each centre to ensure children’s needs were met on a consistent basis. Improvement was required in one centre, to ensure that the statement of purpose accurately described the number of placements provided.

Good quality care and support was provided to each young person in both centres. Children were protected from abuse and there were good safeguarding practices in place. In once centre, however, not all staff had up-to-date mandatory safeguarding training. Where appropriate, children were helped and supported to prepare for adulthood. Placement plans and placement support plans were based on comprehensive assessments of need. In one centre, care records did not contain copies of statutory documents relating to a child’s admission to care, as required by national standards and by regulations.

Children and young people who participated in these inspections spoke positively about their placements and felt cared for and supported by staff. Centres supported children and their families to keep in contact. Children's individuality was respected and their rights were promoted. Where appropriate, care was provided in partnership with family members and professionals involved with them. Children’s views were sought, listened to and acted upon. They confirmed that staff treated them with dignity and respect. Young people were supported to develop their understanding and skills for their own protection. Both centres also had a homely atmosphere which promoted the safety and wellbeing of the children residing there.

Key working records also showed that children were supported to develop knowledge and understanding around their health, and to achieve their individual goals around education and moving into adulthood. 

The inspection reports can be found at the link below.