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Children went missing from special care unit 35 times

first_imgFacebook CHILDREN at a special care unit in Limerick City went missing 35 times in the last 16 months, a report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has revealed.The Tusla facility at Coovagh House, which caters for up to four children between 11 to 17 years of age, was found to be majorly non-compliant to acceptable standards in 21 out of 30 areas.The issues raised by the unannounced HIQA inspection over two days last July included excessive lock-ups and watching children on CCTV instead of interacting with them. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Inspectors found that not all children were safe while living in the Coovagh House. Some had absconded from the unit and placed themselves at significant risk. While meetings were held to address these risks, decisions taken at these meetings were not always effective at reducing risk for some children who continued to abscond,” the report stated.Inspectors found that some of the contract staff at the centre had no Garda clearance.“Care practices in the unit did not promote a positive approach to behaviour that challenges nor were they safe. These included needlessly locking doors throughout the unit and observing children via CCTV in lieu of directly engaging with them”.“The living environment was not fit for the purpose of providing safe and effective care. A door on a child’s room had not been replaced in over six months and, consequently, their privacy and dignity could not be fully maintained. While staff were dedicated, skilled, experienced and had the competencies to provide care, they were not sufficiently supported, supervised and provided with necessary training,” the report added.  There were also problems with fire safety precautions, follow-on placements and other areas.Some staff were seriously assaulted during some incidents “yet despite this, they returned to work with the children indicating their dedication to providing consistent care”.Children told inspectors that while they understood the reason for being in special care, they were not happy to be there.“The living environment was not fit for the purpose of providing safe and effective care. This was found to be of significant risk on the last HIQA inspection in 2016 and little progress had been made since that time,” according to the report.Donal McCormack, Acting National Service Director for Tusla’s Residential Childcare Services, said the report highlights areas for improvement.“Tusla remains committed to improving our compliance with the national standards within special care. In conjunction with HIQA, we have created and begun to implement action plans in response to the report.”“We are putting measures in place to improve the services and standards in a timely and measurable way,” including the appointment of a permanent manager to Coovagh House and the recruitment of other key staff by the end of the year.  TAGSchildrenCoovagh HouseHIQAlimerickmissingTusla RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Advertisement WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads WhatsApp NewsChildren went missing from special care unit 35 timesBy Editor – December 8, 2017 2262 Email Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live center_img Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Linkedin Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Print Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Twitter Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Previous articleSparks fly over fireworks costNext articleEPA initiate legal proceedings against Irish Cement Editor last_img read more