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Guidance and assessment-judgement framework for Foster Care Services Thematic Programme

Status: Updated on

This document has been produced to assist service areas to focus on quality improvement and how effective governance should ensure that children in receipt of foster care services experience care that is person-centred, promotes their rights and safeguards them against all forms of abuse. It aims to provide extra supporting information to inspectors and providers on assessing compliance with national standards and offers guidance on reviewing individual standards.

An assessment-judgment framework and its lines of enquiry (questions to be addressed) assist with checking compliance. This does not replace the professional judgment of the inspector or the requirements of the standards. The lines of enquiry can also be used by providers to self-assess their own services.

The programme focuses on assessing the efficacy of governance arrangements across the foster care services, and the impact these arrangements have for children in receipt of foster care.

This self-assessment questionnaire has been developed by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to aid service areas to prepare for the foster care service thematic programme. It will require them to self-assess their own performance under each of the standards being used for this programme.

The quality improvement plan should be used in conjunction with the self-assessment questionnaire. Once your service has completed the self-assessment questionnaire, the quality improvement plan template provides an opportunity for the service to target areas for improvement under each standard.

This quality improvement plan is not required to be submitted to HIQA. It should be made available to an inspector upon request, as it will demonstrate initiatives being undertaken in relation to service improvement and moving into compliance with the standards.