Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, Alan Farrell has stated that the HIQA report on Oberstown Children Detention Campus is cause for concern in terms of safeguarding the vulnerable youths in the facility.
“Following an inspection of Oberstown Children Detention Campus in March, the HIQA report provides cause for concern and indicates unacceptable conditions in the care provided for young people in Oberstown.
“The report notes that the Oberstown Children Detention Campus has made progress in terms of improving standards in a number of areas.
“It is positive that the educational needs of the young people in Oberstown are being met and that they are also being provided with adequate emotional and psychological care.
“However, while improvements have been made, it remains wholly unacceptable that Oberstown is only compliant with two HIQA standards, and not all of them, particularly as the facility has a duty of care to some of our most vulnerable young people.
“A string of serious incidents have taken place, such as the fire at the facility last year, escapes from the Campus, riots, and industrial action by staff. It is clear that urgent action is required to rectify the systemic issues in Oberstown.
“Operational problems, staffing issues, and safety concerns have been consistently highlighted.
“The failure to adhere to the use of single separation, in line with policy, issues regarding the provision of healthcare, and the fact that not all staff had received training on Children First when the HIQA inspection took place are extremely concerning.
“An Action Plan has been developed by Oberstown in order to assist in meeting the challenges the facility faces.
“As Chair of the Children and Youth Affairs Committee, I will be eager to review the progress of Oberstown in meeting these challenges, and improving the care provided to every young person for whom it is responsible.
“We must strive to have the highest possible standards of care for young people across our society, and while we may face many challenges in achieving this, it is essential that we all work together in order to ensure the best possible services are provided to our children and young people now, and into the future.”