William Eichler 15 March 2022

Care home closed after children revealed to be ‘at risk’

Care home closed after children revealed to be ‘at risk’ image
Image: tanitost/Shutterstock.com.

A care home in Northern Ireland has been criticised after an inspection revealed that vulnerable children were ‘at risk’.

An inspection of a children’s service operated by the charity Praxis Care found that ‘insufficient skilled and competent staff’ were available to support the children in their care.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has made a successful application to a Justice of the Peace for an order to cancel its registration. The South Eastern Health and Social Trust have now taken over responsibility for the staffing and management of the home.

‘During an inspection of a children’s service operated by Praxis Care in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area in February 2022, RQIA identified that insufficient skilled and competent staff were in place to meet the complex needs of the children in their care, to promote their rights, and safely respond to their needs,’ said an RQIA statement.

‘RQIA inspectors considered that inadequate record keeping and significant shortcoming in staff induction at this service were placing both the children and staff at risk.’

A spokesperson for Praxis Care commented: 'Praxis Care is saddened to confirm that following extensive engagement with both the South Eastern Trust and RQIA, regarding the difficulties in recruitment and retention of staff in one of our children’s services, we very reluctantly concluded that we could no longer maintain the service and notified the trust to that effect.

'The following day RQIA indicated their intention to formally cancel the registration. We are now working in partnership with the South Eastern Trust to ensure there is an appropriate and well-managed transition for the children and our staff who have worked tirelessly in very difficult circumstances.

'Recruitment into social care has been very challenging despite Praxis Care’s exemplary employee benefits package, recently welcomed by the GMB. Unfortunately, it has been so challenging as to require this facility to be closed after many years of providing vital support for children and their families.'

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