Tusla – Child and Family Agency statement on HIQA inspection of a children’s residential centre
Tusla – Child and Family Agency accepts the findings of the HIQA inspection report in relation to a children’s residential centre in the South Region. Commenting on its findings, Jim Gibson, Chief Operations Officer, Tusla said “HIQA inspection reports are an important measurement tool and allow us to ensure that Tusla services operate at the highest possible standard. While the report demonstrated evidence of good practice and care, it is with regret that we acknowledge shortcomings in a children’s residential centre in the South Region.
“Tusla remains committed to improving the care and safeguarding of children in the centre in question and to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children in our care. In conjunction with HIQA, we have created and begun to implement an action plan to address the deficits identified.”
Tusla is putting the following measures in place to improve the service and standards in the centre in a timely and measurable way to ensure that children receive the level of care Tusla aims to provide to all children and families:
- Tusla has developed a National Child Protection Practice Note for Children’s Residential Services, which includes a code of behaviour and amended child protection policy. This has been introduced in the service and two training sessions have been held. The new practice note will be implemented from 30th November 2016.
- Tusla has reinstated child protection review meetings in the centre and increased their frequency to quarterly.
- Tusla has assigned two monitoring officers to carry out monitoring visits in the service on a monthly basis until care and safeguarding practice in the service reaches the required standard. The first of these monitoring visits took place on 21st October 2016.
- Tusla’s Director for Children’s Residential Services and the Regional Manager for Children’s Residential Services will review progress made on the action plan and any issues arising on a fortnightly basis.
- There will be no further admissions to the service until Tusla and HIQA are satisfied that care and safeguarding practice in the service has reached the required standard.
- A social work case file review concerning all children placed in the service is underway to ensure that any issues giving rise to child protection concerns since June 2015 are identified and addressed.
- All staff and management in the service will participate in further training in ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’ and ‘Trust in Care’ (Tusla’s policy on upholding the dignity and welfare of children and families we work with and procedure for managing allegations of abuse against staff members). The first training session was held on Friday 4th November.
- All staff and management in the service will undergo further training in professional supervision.
- The National Children’s Residential Services placement plan and placement support plan format, which together support the prevention and management of untoward behaviour, will be implemented in the service.
- Tusla and HIQA have agreed to consider how Tusla’s use of the premises can be adapted to ensure it meets HIQA’s standard for residential centres.