Tusla acknowledges the publication of HIQA inspection reports re. two special care units
Tusla – Child and Family Agency acknowledges the publication today of the HIQA inspection reports in relation to two special care units. The reports highlight areas for improvement and Tusla is actively working to implement comprehensive action plans submitted to HIQA.
Donal McCormack, Acting National Service Director, Residential Childcare Services, said the inspection reports identify services with dedicated staff, where young people’s rights as well as their education, health and development are promoted. “Tusla remains committed to improving our compliance with the national standards within special care and in conjunction with HIQA we have created and begun to implement action plans in response to the two reports,” he commented.
The inspection reports demonstrate examples of positive practice, including:
- Young people received individualised care and support from staff in the units and from members of the assessment, consultation and therapy service (ACTS).
- The young people were listened to and had access to an independent advocacy service.
- Visits from family members were promoted and facilitated by staff.
Tusla is putting the following measures in place to improve the services and standards at the two units in a timely and measurable way:
- A decision on whether Gleann Alainn will continue to operate as a special care facility will be made by the end of the year.
- A staff member at both units has been tasked with improving the décor and soft furnishings to make them as warm and homely as possible.
- A consultant has been commissioned to introduce a new model to special care which will have the capacity to measure outcomes.
- A review of mental health services for special care has been conducted with our partners in the health services to ensure timely access to mental health services.
- Any delay in identifying a follow-on placement will be followed-up without delay by management and escalated as appropriate.
- All external contractors are fully supervised on site if they are working near young people and a new cleaning company with Garda vetting is now in place at Coovagh House.
- Steps have been taken to vary the daily routine at Coovagh House. Each young person has a planner of activities and a fitness instructor has been recruited.
- A permanent manager has been appointed to Coovagh House and other key staff will be recruited by the end of the year. At Gleann Alainn staffing ratios will considered based on the decision taken in relation to the future of the unit.
Tusla is subject to consistent and high quality regulation and oversight. This is crucial to ensure that our practices deliver good quality, timely and appropriate interventions and services for children.
Service improvements are closely linked to Tusla’s transformation programme which will enhance many aspects of the Agency, including organisational culture, HR strategy, governance systems, and further corporate functions.
As part of the transformation programme, the Agency has developed a new Child Protection and Welfare Strategy which will assist in providing a proportionate, timely and appropriate response to children and families, sharing responsibility and control with families and communities through co-created solutions and an inter-agency approach.
This will involve implementing a national approach to practice, which is based on the principles of ‘Children First’. The national approach to practice is being rolled out across all of the Agency’s services, with every function in the Agency being aligned to support the approach.