Defining Best Practice
The Association of Guardianship Providers Ireland (AGPI) was set up in January 2016 by a group of accredited Irish education providers who identified the need to regulate the placement and guardianship of international students, under the age of 18, in Irish secondary schools. Facilitated and documented by the Irish children’s charity Barnardos in 2017, the AGPI’s Quality Assurance Framework (QAF), is designed to benefit all Guardianship Providers in Ireland, by:
- developing a shared understanding of what constitutes a quality service, through the provision of an explicit language for quality which has been designed to enhance partnership working;
- providing a benchmark for member organisations to assess the quality of service provision and;
- supporting member organisations to identify areas of improvement and inform planning.
AGPI is currently comprised of nine member Guardianship Providers. We are actively seeking new members to join our quality association.
Legislation - Children First Act 2015 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018
In Ireland any organisation providing a service for young people and their parents should work within the national legislative and policy context which includes, but is not limited to, the Children First Act 2015 and the forthcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation May 2018). However, until now, there has been no organisation in charge of inspecting Secondary School Guardianship Providers to ensure they are fulfilling their requirements under Irish law. AGPI, in collaboration with Barnardos, has devised a robust inspection tool for Guardianship Providers, to assist them in adhering to best practice guidelines and Irish legislation, when providing guardianship services to young people and their parents.
Our Young Person-centred Approach
The young person-centred approach places young people’s needs and views at the centre of practice by using these to inform service delivery and all decision-making. It is underpinned by the belief that young people’s rights should be respected, each young person is unique and they should be supported to access the service.
Young person-centred services seek to respond to young people’s holistic needs, such as their age, stage of development and social circumstances.
The founding members of AGPI wish to thank Barnardos children’s charity who facilitated the development of our Quality and Assurance Framework and Inspection Tool and will review these processes annually.
Our Quality Assurance Framework and Inspection tool is an important demonstration of our commitment to best practice for Guardianship Providers in relation to the protection, safety, welfare and happiness of the young people in our care.