Children’s services publication statement 21 July 2022

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published a report of an inspection to assess whether Child and Family Agency (Tusla) social workers in the Midlands service area were fulfilling their statutory duties of monitoring placements for children in residential care. 

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 centres provided by Tusla. HIQA monitors Tusla’s performance against the Child Care (Placement of Children in Residential Care) Regulations 1995 and reports on its findings to the Minister. 

This inspection assessed compliance with four regulations on care records, care plan, supervision and visiting of children, and review of cases. The service area was found to be compliant with all four regulations. 

The management and oversight of care planning and reviews for children in residential care was effective. Children in residential care had up-to-date written care plans which were informed by children’s assessed needs. Children were provided with the opportunity to participate and be consulted in the development of plans for their care. Care plans contained comprehensive actions outlining the supports to be provided to the child, the residential centre and parents, where appropriate. There were clear detailed plans for maintaining contact between the children, their families and friends.

Reviews of care plans took place within or very close to the legally defined timelines and facilitated good information sharing and review of the unique needs and vulnerabilities of children. Children’s views were reflected well and they were encouraged and facilitated to attend review meetings. 

Children were visited by their social workers within the time frames set out in the regulations and additional visits were made to children in response to their requests to see their social worker or in response to a concern or an incident. Inspectors found that case records were safely and securely stored. All records required by the regulations were retained and accessible in individual children’s files. 

Children who participated in this inspection spoke positively about the aspects of the service being inspected. Children were happy in the centres where they lived and talked about the positive achievements they had made while living there. Parents were satisfied overall about the plans in place for their children’s care and spoke highly of the arrangements in place for family contact which they said had helped them and their children. 

The report is available at the link below.