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New standards for protection and welfare of children launched

Members of the public are being asked for their opinions on the proposed new national standards, which are for the protection and welfare of children in Ireland.

Image: fromcollettewithlove via Flickr

THE PUBLIC ARE being asked for their opinions on proposed new national standards for the protection and welfare of children.

The standards are being launched for public consultation today by the Health Information and Quality Authority. Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority, said:

It is very clear from various reports in recent years that have highlighted the scale and seriousness of child abuse in Ireland, that there is a need to significantly improve Ireland’s child protection and welfare services.

She said that with this as their guiding principle, the Authority has developed draft National Standards which set out the key attributes of an effective child protection service.

These Standards clearly put the needs of children at the heart of that service and promote the principles outlined in Children First, the national guidelines for the protection and welfare of children.

She added that the standards are designed to follow a child’s journey through the child protection system to ensure that his/her safety and welfare is being protected.

They help children and their families know where and how they can access services, the importance of good assessment and planning, through to ensuring that, where necessary, timely action is taken to protect children.

The Draft National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children are grouped under six key headings, and they cover issues such as listening to children, assessment and planning, working with other agencies, the protection of children across a range of settings and the training and support of staff.

“The HSE has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children not receiving adequate care and protection and therefore is critical in ensuring that the system for protecting children is effective and robust. The overall aim in developing the Standards is to promote a high quality and effective service for all children who are at risk of abuse or neglect. The Standards will be the basis of HIQA’s future inspections of the HSE’s child protection functions and can also be used as a guide for self-assessment and improvement by all those involved in the protection of children,” Tracey Cooper continued.

The Authority is now seeking the views of the general public and children and young people on the draft National Standards. Information collected from this consultation process will be used to inform the development of the Standards, which when approved by the Board of the Authority, will be submitted to the Minister for Children who will draft regulations giving the Authority the legal powers to measure performance against these Standards.

Copies of the draft National Standards, and an easy to read version, can be downloaded from www.hiqa.ie. Comments can be submitted by completing the consultation feedback form on the website, by going to the Facebook page (search for HIQA on www.facebook.com) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/hiqa).

You can also email consultation@hiqa.ie or post your comments to the: Health Information and Quality Authority, Draft National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children, George’s Court, George’s Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 17 May 2012.

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