Dublin Fingal Senator Darragh O’Brien is calling on the Minister for Children James Reilly to address the significant problems in risk management, training and staff morale identified by the latest HIQA inspection of Oberstown Youth Detention Centre. Senator O’Brien commented, “The latest HIQA inspection report indicates that improvements have been made in some areas of concern that were identified in meetings with staff over the summer. Progress has been made in areas such as staffing and the use of single separation, however serious problems do remain outstanding at the facility. “The report finds that there is still huge mistrust of management by staff at the facility. Staff members appear to be overburdened and simply do not have time to build personal relationships based on trust with children in their care. “Morale at the facility is still very low according to the report. It is clear that many of the staff remain distressed after the terrible stabbing incident which took place in August, which could have been potentially fatal. Staff members feel not enough progress has been made in the area of risk management and feel their health, safety and well-being is being ignored. “There have been numerous cases of absconding by children at the facility. Even more worrying is the number of violent attacks between March and July, in which 9 female and 22 male employees suffered serious injuries including concussion, nerve damage, throat injury, stabbings and bites. “It is imperative that the Minister acts on the recommendations of this report, engage with staff concerns and facilitate management reforms at the facility,” concluded Senator O’Brien.
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