Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Tusla statement on HIQA inspection reports in relation to fostering services

Tusla – Child and Family Agency notes the findings of two HIQA inspection reports published today in relation to fostering services in the Dublin South East / Wicklow and Louth / Meath areas. Commenting on the inspection’s findings, Patricia Finlay, Dublin Mid Leinster Service Director, Tusla, said “HIQA inspections are an important measurement and oversight tool for us in Tusla and allow us to ensure that our services operate at the highest possible standard. These inspection reports identify that services prioritise the safety of children in foster care and ensure children and foster carers are well supported by social workers and have access to additional supports in the community and specific services funded in the areas.

“In each inspection, one area of major non-compliance was identified in relation to reviews of foster carers. We have set out a timetable for the completion of foster carer reviews in each area and we will update HIQA regularly on our progress. Tusla remains committed to improving our compliance with the national standards for foster care and in conjunction with HIQA we have created and begun to implement an action plan in response to the reports.”

Tusla is putting the following measures in place to improve the services and standards in Dublin South East / Wicklow and Louth / Meath to improve our compliance with the national standards for foster care:

Dublin South East / Wicklow:

  • A regional needs analysis will be conducted to identify the need for foster carers in the area and a regional recruitment campaign will take place by September;
  • A retention strategy for foster carers has been developed in the area;
  • Updated Garda vetting is being secured for all foster carers where this was not the case at the time of the inspection;
  • On-going relative carer assessments have all been allocated to link workers and are due to be completed by September;
  • Foster carer reviews will be carried out in relation to four carers who have not had a child placed with them in a number of years but remain on the panel of foster carers;
  • Updated Garda vetting for members of the foster care committee has been submitted to the Garda Vetting Unit.

Louth / Meath:

  • Of the 217 foster carer households in Louth / Meath, 13 did not have an allocated link social worker at the time of inspection but have now been allocated a link social worker;
  • Tusla is securing updated Garda vetting for all foster carers where this was not the case at the time of the inspection. This will be completed by 31st July;
  • All foster carers who have not attended Children First (2011) training will receive training at one of four training sessions in the area or on an individual basis by the end of September;
  • A HSE / Tusla interagency forum for children with complex needs has been established in the area in line with the joint protocol for interagency collaboration between the HSE and Tusla;
  • Updated Garda vetting for members of the foster care committee has been submitted to the Garda Vetting Unit.
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