The Health Information and Quality Authority (the Authority) recognises the importance of increasing the quality and safety of care for all children, especially children who are particularly vulnerable and are living away from their families.
These National Standards for Special Care Units have been developed to ensure that children living away from home are provided with safe, high quality services.
Special care units are secure, residential facilities for children in care aged between 11 and 17 years. They are detained under a High Court care order for a short-term period of stabilisation when their behaviour poses a real and substantial risk of harm to their life, health, safety, development or welfare. Children reside in a special care unit where placement in such a unit is considered necessary for their care and welfare.