Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has described the conditions at some residential care centres for young people as "unacceptable".
An Urls: Irish Examiner story on inspection reports at a number of centres last year found there were inappropriate relationships between children, unauthorised staff in bedrooms and staff without the proper qualifications.
One of the centres in question later closed.
Minister Fitzgerald said that she has asked for a report on the matter and rigorous inspections will be carried out.
"The inspections are really important, standards are important, and some of the practices described are clearly absolutely unacceptable," she said.
"We want the highest standards for our children in care, that's what the inspection regime is targeted at and that's what I will ensure happens."