Restrictive practices still used at some children's residential homes, report finds

Certain children's residential and support services are still enforcing restrictive practices like locking children's doors at night, according to new findings.

The Health Information and Quality Authority's (HIQA) latest inspection reports have been published today.

The five reports refer to three unannounced full inspections of residential services and two unannounced inspections of respite and support services nationwide.

The inspections found that, overall, children were safe and well looked after and had a good quality of life.

A child from one centre told inspectors that their bedroom "was the nicest bedroom they had ever had".

However, there were some concerns. Restrictive practices, such as alarms on children's bedroom doors, locked kitchen door at night and room searches, were in place in three of the centres.

Inspectors found that risk assessments for the use of alarms on bedroom doors were not undertaken for individual children, so the centre had not demonstrated why this was needed for each child.

Meanwhile, not all children had up-to-date care plans in three of the five centres.

In terms of aftercare planning, three young people told inspectors that they were worried about what would happen when they turned 18 as they had no idea where they would live, or the support they would receive.

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