The latest figures from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, indicates that, at the end of November 2017, there were 6,182 children in care. Of these, 348 (6%) were in a residential placement, of whom 199 were in a private residential centre run by a private body.
The placement of all children in residential care is governed by the Child Care Regulations 1995. These provide for the welfare of the child, the care practices, care records, accommodation and safety precautions. Under Part VIII of the Child Care Act 1991, non-statutory residential care centres for children are required to be registered by Tusla, on the basis of the standards set out in the Child Care Regulations 1996.
The legislation requires centres to be registered under a three-year registration cycle. Centres are inspected at least twice in each three-year cycle. However, where concerns are identified or where conditions have been attached to the centre's registration, centres will be subject to follow up inspections to assure compliance. Centres are subject to both announced and unannounced inspections.