Immediate Release: 22/06/16

The latest HIQA Inspection for Oberstown Campus identified only one standard being fully met.

The report highlights positives such as the promotion of children’s rights, as well as young people being aware of their right to complain. However, there were also a number of concerns outlined such as the ineffective management of children’s challenging behaviours, risks associated with restrictive practices, not addressing offending behaviour and poor placement planning.

Speaking following the publication of the report, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan made the following comment:

“EPIC welcomes the initiative taken by management to hear the views of young people on a weekly basis and the proposed development of a Young Person’s Council. The development of a Young Person’s Council should provide a formal structure for young people to raise their issues collectively and bring their views to senior management to afford them the opportunity to address issues arising.

However, EPIC is very concerned that in some cases young people subject to a statutory Care Orders are leaving detention with no identified follow-up placements, where these young people are being advised of only two options-to seek homeless services or return home. These options are totally inappropriate and unacceptable as these young people are in the care of the State. As corporate parent, Tusla has responsibility in ensuring that young people have an appropriate and safe placement.  Proper planning, suitable placements and follow-on supports should be available to these young people.”  

EPIC is also concerned that not all children had up-to-date placement plans. The report highlights that plans were not always timely, children’s needs were not clearly documented and there was little evidence of children being included in the decision-making process. It is also clear that additional staff training is required in managing challenging behaviour. EPIC is concerned of the high incidences of single separation. Single separation should only be used as a last resort.

Notes to the Editor

  1. The HIQA inspection report is available to read here (accessed 22/06/16)
  2. See EPIC’s recommendations in ‘It’s About Me’: Young People’s Experiences of Participating in their Care Reviews’ (accessed 22/06/16)

For all media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jennifer Gargan, Director of EPIC                    

Telephone: 01 8727 661 Mobile: 086 607 3866

Email:  Website:

EPIC (formerly IAYPIC) is an independent association that works throughout the Republic of Ireland, with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have had an experience of living in care.

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