Tuesday 16 July 2019

Independent agency dealing with people in care expresses concern over Oberstown

Oberstown detention centre. Photo: Fintan Clarke Photography
Oberstown detention centre. Photo: Fintan Clarke Photography

EPIC, 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 has expressed its concern at what it called the 'recurring issues' on Oberstown Campus.

The independent watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), published findings following an unannounced follow-up inspection of the children detention schools at Oberstown campus and according to EPIC (Empowering People In Care), the report highlights a number of recurring issues including the use of restrictive intervention of single separation, inconsistent care planning, medication management and staff training.

Speaking following the publication of the report, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan, said: 'The overuse of single separation has still not improved despite previous HIQA recommendations. Single separation should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest duration of time.

'EPIC is also particularly concerned about the lack of faith young people have in the complaints system- despite a surge in the number of complaints made by young people in the more recent period. It is extremely important that young people know that their complaint will be taken seriously and addressed as soon as possible.'

Ms Gargan said the report also highlights the need for consistent care planning for all young people placed in detention and the need to address gaps for staff training.

But she added that it should be acknowledged that it is a time of huge change at Oberstown Campus as the service is being developed and expanded.

She concluded therefore, that it is vitally important as the number of young people increase, high quality, safe and consistent care is provided to these vulnerable young people where the Campus is fully-resourced in order to achieve this.

Fingal Independent