Summary of countrywide supervision in 2010 of municipal health and social services for children in residential accommodation and respite care accommodation
Summary of Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 2/2010
In 2009, countrywide supervision was carried out in 75 municipalities and urban districts that provide residential accommodation and respite care accommodation for children. The Offices of the County Governors and the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision in the Counties together investigated whether the municipalities ensure that children in residential accommodation and respite care accommodation receive health and social services of an adequate standard. Supervision was carried out for services that provide 24-hour care for children under 18 years of age in accordance with the Social Services Act.
The supervision authorities identified breaches of the regulations (nonconformities) in three out of four services. The results show that professional management in many municipalities is inadequate, and that not enough attention is paid to the quality of the services. Much is dependent on individual staff, who ensure that children are given adequate care. But lack of written procedures and inadequate training, combined with many part-time staff and vulnerable children who move back and forth between their home and residential care, gives cause for
Administration of medication is an area that presents challenges, and for which clear procedures and clear allocation of responsibility are important. In this area, the supervision authorities found breaches of the legislation in one out of two municipalities. The regulations relating to medicinal products apply when health care personnel are involved. Knowledge about the regulations was inadequate and the requirements in the regulations were not always met. In the worst cases, breach of the regulations can lead to adverse events and damage to health.
The legislation is not well adapted for running residential accommodation and respite care accommodation. It is incomplete, and it is complex and difficult to interpret. The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision recommends that the legislation should be reassessed in the light of the special situation and needs of these children.
Report from the Norwegian Board of Health 2/2010 (pdf in Norwegian)