Out of Hours Services
Emergency and Homeless Services
The service provided in the greater Dublin area is through the Crisis Intervention Service (CIS) and outside the greater Dublin area through the Emergency Place of Safety Service (EPSS). The HSE has put in place a standardised national system whereby Gardai can access an appropriate place of safety for children found to be at risk out of hours under Section 12 of the Child Care Act 1991.
Crisis Intervention Service (CIS)
The CIS provides an out-of-hours emergency social work service to young people aged under 18 years who are in crisis. The service operates across the greater Dublin area (Counties Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow). Referrals are made by service providers outside of normal working hours i.e. Gardaí, hospital and ambulance service personnel.
Emergency Place of Safety Service (EPSS)
Outside the greater Dublin area, the HSE operates an EPSS whereby Gardaí can access an emergency placement for children found to be at risk out of hours. This service involves the out of hours placement of a child in a family setting until the next working day when the local social work service assumes responsibility for the case. As part of this service Gardaí have access to advice and information from a non-HSE social work off-site resource which is provided on a contract basis.
Out of Hours Pilot Projects
Two out-of-hours pilot projects, one in Donegal and the other in Cork, were commenced by the HSE in 2011. The Donegal project started mid-year and the Cork project started in the third quarter. Both projects were internally evaluated by the HSE, which then commissioned an independent external assessment, undertaken by Trinity College Dublin.
The HSE has reviewed the recommendations of the Evaluation Report and a business case for a National Children and Families Services Emergency Out of Hours Social Work Service has been been prepared and a copy submitted to the DCYA. Talks with the relevant staff representative associations are underway and it is expected that a model for this service will be agreed later this year.