HIQA identify a significant need for improvement in Children's Services in Ireland

June 30, 2022

In a recent report, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) identified a significant need and opportunity for improvement in Children's Services in Ireland

While there have been improvements in compliance with national standards and regulations across all children's services, according to 56 inspections that HIQA conducted this year, there is still room for improvement in governance, management, and resource allocation.

Eva Boyle, HIQA’s Head of Children’s Services, stated: “Our inspections found an ongoing commitment to delivering good quality and safe services to children. However, there were inconsistencies in many services provided to children that needed to be improved upon.

Issues Highlighted:

It was discovered that there was a lack of placements for children in foster care needing admission to care. In several service areas, the number of children without a designated social worker rose toward the end of 2021, which flagged a need for action. 

The report also found "significant non-compliance" regarding the supervision and support of foster carers. While the overall quality of care was not an issue, the children expressed how difficult and challenging they found the constant change and rotation of social workers.

According to the regulations, prompt reporting of suspected abuse to An Garda Sochána is necessary, as is a consistent approach to safety plans. On this, it was found that their were severe delays in some services of up to ten months.


The areas of non-compliance and categories that require improvement are at the forefront of HIQA’s mind as we progress through 2022. They will continue advocating for continued advancements in child services to ensure actions are taken. The inspection program for 2022 has a main focus on the management, leadership, and governance of services. HIQA will also keep responding to risks in services when they are discovered during inspections.


HIQA’s Key Findings:



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