The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is developing Draft National Standards for Children’s Social Services that will cover all welfare and protection services for children.
Having one set of national standards for all welfare and protection services for children will ensure that the interests of the child are put first, above individual service requirements, and will promote a child-centred approach to service delivery.
Existing National Standards apply to individual service settings such as child protection and welfare services, foster care, special care units and children’s residential centres. Once approved by the Minister for Health, in consultation with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, the new National Standards for Children’s Social Services will replace these standards for children’s services in order to support children throughout their interaction with the services that may be required to assist them.
The standards also aim to ensure that, no matter how children come into contact with children’s social services, there is a consistent response and children do not experience any gaps in their care and support. The standards will assist staff and service providers to understand the role they play in supporting a child and how this supports better outcomes for children.