Status: Published on
Scoping Consultation

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. 

What services will be included in the Draft National Standards for Children’s Social Services?

Children’s social services include:

  • family and community support services 
  • child protection and welfare services 
  • alternative care services, which include foster care services, children’s residential centres and aftercare services.

What is this consultation about?

When we start developing standards, we consult with people who have experience of those services. We ask about what areas the standards should address, how these new standards can be put in to practice and examples of good practice. This is called a Scoping Consultation.

As these standards will apply to all children’s social services, we welcome comments from children and young people using services, their families, staff working with children and young people, advocates, researchers and policy makers.   

How will we use your comments

We will carefully assess all comments received and use them, along with other available evidence and information, to develop the draft national standards.

How to give feedback

  • The fastest way is to complete the online questionaire 
  • Your comments can also be submitted by downloading and completing the consultation form below and then emailing your completed form to us at:
  • Alternatively you can complete and post the completed form to us at:

              Health Information and Quality Authority       

              Draft National Standards for Children’s Social Services 

              Dublin Regional Office       

              George’s Court, George’s Lane                                                                         

              Smithfield, Dublin 7

              D07 E98Y 

Next Steps

At the end of this scoping consultation, your comments will be collated and used to help inform the development of the draft national standards. In the coming months, we will conduct a public consultation on the draft national standards, which will be available for comment for a period of six weeks on our website.

Further Information

For further information or if you have any questions, you can email the Standards team at or call 01 814 7400 and ask to speak to a member of the Standards Team.

Please ensure that you submit your form online or return it to us either by email or post by 5pm on Wednesday 25 September 2019.