Children Residential Centres are often domestic homes in housing estates, in villages, towns and cities, and occasionally in rural areas. The centres typically have between 2 to 6 children, usually in their teens. The children attend local schools and take part in local sporting and community activities. A shift system is in place and each young person is allocated a key worker.
It is emphasised that, generally, it is not good practice for a child to be in residential care for five years or more. Research suggests that the age of entry and the speed of action to either return the child home, or find long term permanency options, are critical in achieving optimal outcomes for children in the care system. Research suggests that long term outcomes for children in the care system are best when they return home relatively quickly or are provided with a long term permanent option.
Tusla Children Residential Centres are inspected by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) against the National Standards for Children’s Residential Centres and the inspection reports are published on an anonymised basis on the HIQA website. Children Residential Centres run by voluntary or private operators are registered and inspected by Tusla against the national standards, and published on the Tusla website.
At the end of May 2019 6% of the 6,072 children in care were placed in Children Residential Centres. 97% of these children had an allocated social worker and 89% had a written care plan.
Further data relating to children in care is contained here.
Snap shots of monthly and quarterly data is available here.