Tusla statement - HIQA inspection report on a children’s residential centre in the South
Tusla – Child and Family Agency notes today’s publication of HIQA inspection report on a children’s residential centre in the South region. The young people living in the centre were referred to the centre from either the Irish Refugee Protection Programme or from the separated children seeking asylum social work team.
Out of eight standards inspected, six were found to be compliant, one was substantially complaint, and one was moderately non-compliant.
The inspection report showed that the centre provided the young people with consistent, good quality care, including during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The centre was also found to have positive health promotion initiatives that prioritised the young people’s physical and mental health, and that the care provided was considerate to the young people’s backgrounds and their journeys into the country. Other findings included:
- The young people placed a high value on education, and felt they were given every opportunity to participate and achieve their potential in full-time education.
- Six members of staff were funded to complete an accredited course to enable them to teach English as a foreign language, which meant they could help the young people to communicate effectively and participate fully in keyworking sessions, and with language skills for their future.
- During the lockdown period, the centre provided a home gym so that the young people could continue their physical training, which was very important to them.
- The young people were kept fully informed of Covid-19 restrictions and the accompanying hygiene requirements.
- The young people said that they liked the staff and the atmosphere in the centre, and that their privacy was respected.
The inspection report also noted that good management systems were in place to oversee practice and to ensure good quality direct-work with the young people. Risks were well managed in the centre, including risks related to Covid-19, and comprehensive measures were in place to mitigate against them. Each of the young people’s placement support plans included relevant goals targeted at promoting self-care and protection. For the young people who were coming to the end of their time in the centre, planning was ongoing in relation to their future and potential for independent living.
Speaking about the report, Donal McCormack, National Service Director, Residential Childcare Services, Tusla said:
“We welcome the findings within this report, which noted the positive relationships between the young people and staff, and outlined some of the innovative initiatives in the centre to support the young people through a time of particular vulnerability. The report also noted that risks, including ones related to Covid-19, were well managed. Importantly, the young people are supported both in their own sense of cultural identity, and in their further integration into Irish society.”
The inspection also highlighted areas where improvements could be made. A faulty window was previously identified and at the time of the inspection, this had not been rectified. A repair was made, however this did not resolve the issue, and a full replacement window will be installed by the end of the month.
Tusla receives consistent and high quality regulation and oversight, by various external bodies including HIQA. This oversight assists us in ensuring that our practices deliver good quality, timely and appropriate interventions and services for children. Provision of alternative care for some children is very complex due to the level of trauma they have experienced in their lives. Improving the quality of that care set against high standards and regulation is a continuous process, and while we are aware that we have further work to do, the positive findings in this report are most welcome.