Thursday, 1 July 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
108. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children if she is satisfied that children in direct provision centres are sufficiently protected in view of the fact that these centres are not subject to the same inspection regime as ordinary child care facilities and that, due to the lack of an independent complaints mechanism, there is no outside recording or monitoring of any complaints that children or their parents may be making about the level of child protection in these centres; if she has discussed the matter with the Department of Justice and Law Reform; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28946/10]
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Deputy Barry Andrews): Under the provisions of the Childcare Act, 1991, childrens’s services are inspected as follows: The HSE registers and inspects all voluntary and privately run residential services for children, and hostels. The Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) of the HIQA inspects HSE residential services, including special care units and foster care services. They also inspect children detention schools.
In total there are 164 children’s residential centres, including hostels and high support units. 75 of these are run by the HSE and inspected by the SSI/HIQA. These inspection reports are available to view online. In addition, there are 89 non-statutory, or private and voluntary facilities, registered and inspected by the HSE.
The accommodation for separated children seeking asylum is under the remit of HSE inspectors. Four children’s residential centres for separated children seeking asylum have been inspected and registered by the HSE. The four remaining hostels, due to close in the course of 2010, have been audited for safeguarding purposes.
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