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Staff shortages highlighted in new HIQA report on children’s services

A new HIQA report of children’ services in 2020 found “noticeable improvements” but that “the quality of key systems such as risk management, monitoring and quality assurance requires improvement”.

“Staff shortages in some areas impacted on the timely provision of services to children,” according to the Authority.

HIQA’s head of children’s services, Ms Eva Boyle said: “2020 was an exceptional year due to Covid-19.”

“Our inspections found that governance and management improved in many of the services we inspected. Notwithstanding these improvements, variations remained in the quality of services provided to children, and there are opportunities to improve inconsistencies in the quality of services provided.”

Children who received centre-based care, including in children’s residential centres, secure care and in a detention school, received good quality and well-planned care according to HIQA.

“Risk-based inspections of child protection and welfare services found that incremental improvements were made by services,” said Ms Boyle. “However, further progress was required in improving the timeliness of children’s access to services including the completion of assessment of children. There were also shortcomings in the management of risk, monitoring and oversight of waiting lists, including retrospective allegations of abuse and in the quality of safety planning for some children.”

The full report is available at www.hiqa.ie.

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