Children’s services publication statement 23 September 2020

Children’s services publication statement 23 September 2020

Children’s services publication statement 23 September 2020

Date of publication:

Wednesday, 23 September, 2020

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 and Youth Affairs 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 for Children and Youth Affairs.

An unannounced inspection of a statutory children’s residential centre in the Tusla South region was carried out on 6 and 7 July 2020. The findings of this inspection were positive and good levels of compliance with national standards were found. 

The centre provided care to separated children seeking asylum. The children who met with inspectors were very positive about the care they received and they felt safe and comfortable in the centre. Each of the children had a strong sense of what they expected from their lives and they placed a high value on their education and wellbeing. This inspection found that the staff team supported the children to achieve these goals and to reach their full educational potential. 

Although the children spoke highly of the staff team and were satisfied with their care, one issue arose related to carrying out essential maintenance in a timely way. Inspectors were assured that this was addressed at the time of inspection.

Participation of and consultation with children was a strong characteristic of this centre. The staff team were trained to teach English to ensure good communication with children who did not have English as a first language. 

Planning for the children placed in the centre was good, and there were clear connections between statutory care plans and placement plans. Each child had an allocated social worker, who maintained good contact with the children, despite the limitations to services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The centre was well managed and had strong leadership. The managerial systems in place ensured a stable and productive environment for the children and good levels of communication with other professionals. Risk was well managed, and the team worked hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure children continued to receive good quality care, which promoted their mental and physical wellbeing. 

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