News & Media

Oberstown Children Detention Campus (Oberstown) has welcomed the findings of a 2023 inspection by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

During the inspection, conducted during the period 12 – 14 September 2023, HIQA inspectors spoke with young people, staff and management at Oberstown and observed daily life and practices on campus.

HIQA inspects Oberstown against bespoke standards (rules) set out in the Oberstown Children’s Rights Policy Framework. The rules commit the service to ensuring that Oberstown is a place where young people are safe, get the best care possible and have their rights respected.

The inspectors noted “positive and supportive interaction between staff and the young people”, with most young people interviewed expressing favourable views on their everyday experiences of care. Parents and guardians spoke highly of staff and the quality of care they provide and its positive impact on young people.

HIQA noted that young people are supported in understanding and addressing their offending behaviour through an expanded range of programmes, and found that the service is responding well to changing trends in offending behaviour. Young people are encouraged to take an active role in decisions about their care and plans for their future.

The HIQA report notes Oberstown’s “focus on continuous improvement”, stating that there is a clear vision with well-defined service values. The service is led by a Director who is “highly experienced and provides good leadership”. There was “good quality oversight of most aspects of care and operations across the service” which takes a “collaborative and child-centred approach”.

The report highlights a number of challenges for the service. All of the findings have been thoroughly examined and an action plan put in place to ensure any areas where room for improvement has been identified are progressed.

Damien Hernon, Director of Oberstown Children Detention Campus, said: “We welcome the latest report from HIQA which is a valuable contribution to our continuous improvement journey. We set the highest standards for our service, and our staff deserve the positive feedback from young people and their parents highlighted in the report. Oberstown is working hard to ensure that we continue to make progress across all the areas of our rights-based, participative and collaborative approach to maximising the potential of the young people in our care.”

Koulla Yiasouma, Chair of the Oberstown Board of Management, said:

“At the very heart of everything we do are the young people we care for. Their participation in campus life and ensuring that their voice is heard is paramount and we are pleased to see this identified throughout this HIQA inspection and report.

The Board of Management fully supports the ongoing commitment of management and staff at Oberstown in its pioneering approach to rights-based children’s care. The feedback and recommendations in this latest HIQA report will help us create more positive outcomes for everyone involved with the service.”

The HIQA inspection report is available here.