Children’s services publication statement 8 February 2021
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 South region was carried out between 17 and 18 November 2021. This inspection found that the centre had experienced challenges prior to inspection, which had impacted on the quality and safety of care provided to children, but that steps were now in place and being implemented to bring about the necessary improvements.
Children who met with inspectors had positive things to say about the centre and the staff who worked there. Although they had many good experiences during their stay, the dynamics within the centre had changed in the months prior to inspection, and children said that this had impacted on their level of happiness, and had strained some of their relationships. This was also the view of parents and professionals consulted as part of this inspection.
There was a committed management and staff team in the centre, but workforce absences and turnover across all grades directly impacted the centre’s capacity to consistently deliver the required standards of child-centred, safe and effective care and support. The dynamics within the group of children and the level of care this required, could not be sustained within current staffing levels.
Steps were being taken to improve the situation at the time of inspection, however, inspectors sought assurances that a sustainable and adequate plan was in place. Inspectors were satisfied that the necessary plans were in order, particularly in relation to improving staffing, and addressing the mix of children in the centre. Further work was planned with partner agencies, children and their families, to support wider organisational learning and identify changes needed to prevent recurrence.
The inspection report and compliance plan can be found on www.hiqa.ie.