The Health Information and Quality Authority (“HIQA”) has recently published revised National Standards for Children’s Residential Centres (“the National Standards”). The new National Standards will replace the previous National Standards for Children’s Residential Centres developed by the then Department of Health and Children which have been in place since 2001.The National Standards aim to provide a framework for the ongoing development of child-centred, safe and effective services for children living in residential centres.

The National Standards set out 29 standards under the following themes:

  1. Child-centred Care and Support;
  2. Effective Care and Support;
  3. Safe Care and Support;
  4. Health, Wellbeing and Development;
  5. Leadership, Governance and Management;
  6. Responsive Workforce;
  7. Use of Resources; and
  8. Use of Information.

The National Standards, which have been approved by the Minister for Health and the Minister for Children, aim to improve the quality and safety of children’s residential care by identifying strengths and also highlighting the areas requiring improvement.

The standards seek to inform children themselves of what to expect when in care and to enhance the support provided to over 400 children who live in children’s residential centres in Ireland. The purpose of these residential centres is to provide homes for children who are unable to live with their own families and to ensure that the needs of such children are being met.

The National Standards were developed based on international best practice and in consultation with children, and the families of children, who have had experience of living in care.

The National Standards are available to view here.