Children’s services publication statement 24 February 2021
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.
These reports refer to two announced inspections of residential services in Tusla’s Dublin North East and the South service areas in December 2020. Inspection findings in both centres were positive and the level of compliance with specific standards assessed was good, with all standards found to be either compliant or substantially compliant.
Inspections found that children were provided with good quality care, and children who talked with inspectors said they felt safe and enjoyed their time in these centres. They told inspectors that they felt involved in decisions about their lives and were informed of their rights. They also had regular contact with their families and important people in their lives, and enjoyed activities they were involved in. Each child said that they had a responsible adult to talk to if they needed to.
Children placed in these centres had a Tusla social worker allocated to their case and plans for their care were up to date. Children were encouraged to participate in the development of their individual statutory care plans.
Both centres were well managed on a day-to-day basis, and there were reporting systems in place to monitor service delivery. Managers and staff consulted as part of these inspections were found to be knowledgeable about each child’s needs and the role of the centre in meeting these needs.
Risk management systems were established in both centres, and this ensured, for example, that absences by children and the use of restrictive practices were well monitored and reported. However, one centre had not addressed a long-standing risk relating to the location of a photocopier, obstructing wheelchair access to all areas of the centre.
Both centres had plans in place to ensure good infection prevention and control, and contingencies were in place in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The inspection report and compliance plan can be found on www.hiqa.ie.