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HIQA publishes new National Standards for Special Care Units for Children

By on 03 March 2015

The Health Information and Quality Authority are launching a new campaign to increase the quality and safety of care for children especially focusing on vulnerable children and those who are living outside the family care.

These National Standards for Special Care Units have been developed to ensure that children living away from home are provided with safe, high quality services.

Special care units are, residential facilities for children in care who are between the ages of 11 and 17 years of age.

They are detained under a High Court care order for a short-term period of stabilisation when their behaviour poses a real and substantial risk of harm to their life, health, safety, development or welfare.

Children reside in a special care unit where placement in such a unit is considered necessary for their care and welfare.

These new Standards which will be supported by regulations provide a framework for providers of special care services for the ongoing development of child-centred, high quality, safe and effective residential services for children.

The Standards have been developed following a period of public consultation and have been approved by the Board of the Authority, Dr Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Health, and Dr James Reilly TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The new Standards supersede the previous National Standards for Special Care Units (2001) developed by the Department of Health and Children. Source (

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