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Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to HIQA report into Oberstown 2018


Tuesday 9th October, 2018

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone TD, today welcomes the most recent inspection report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) into Oberstown Children Detention Campus (Oberstown). HIQA conducted a full inspection over five days, last March.

The Minister said,
“This report acknowledges that having undergone major change over the past few years, the campus is now enjoying a period of relative stability. Overall the inspection found that, where the focus of campus management and resources had been applied to address identified issues within the campus, improvements were evident.”

The Minister notes improvements in the management of challenging behaviours and a reduction in the use of restrictive practices (a reduction of 56% when compared to 2017 report). The management of risk, health and safety and other important changes in the development of the new management structures were also welcomed.

The Minister also notes issues for improvement which were raised. These included up-to-date training for staff in fire safety and adherence to placement planning system procedures to ensure comprehensive assessment of children’s needs and risks and deficits in the recording, monitoring and management oversight of some restrictive practices.

In this regard, the Minister welcomes a very comprehensive Action Plan, which has been agreed between HIQA and Oberstown Management. This outlines the range of issues raised which will be addressed, following the timescale outlined in the agreed Action Plan.

The Minister said :
“I welcome the on-going oversight and robust inspection process of HIQA in relation to Oberstown. I am pleased to see that an Action Plan has been agreed to address any deficiencies in practice. I note that many of these measures which will improve the day to day operations have already been put in place. I am also pleased to see a number of positive developments reported by HIQA.
I see this as one of the ongoing measures which will bring about positive change in Oberstown and make it a safer environment for both young people and staff.”

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