What happens after I make a report to Tusla?
Once Tusla receives a report, its first consideration is always the immediate safety of the child. Tusla check all reports and information on the day they are received. Emergency action is taken if it is necessary to protect the child. Some reports may not need the intervention of Tusla and can be dealt with through other types of services. A lot of children can be kept safe from harm and have their needs met this wide range of excellent health, education and social supports. These include pre-schools, schools, youth projects, the Gardai, public health nurses and local community family support services. Tusla works together with all these services at a local level in what are called Child and Family Support Networks.
When Tusla receives a report, we ‘screen’ or review the information to see if the child’s needs could be met through these other services. If so, we direct the reporter to these services. Through this screening process, we also consider where children’s needs might be more complex but do not need an assessment led by social workers. These children are referred to our early intervention response.
In cases that do need assessment, we assign them to a social worker to begin this assessment process. The purpose of the assessment id to gather information on:
- The danger or risks of harm to the child
- The factors that are making it harder to keep the child safe
- The safety or strengths that are present in the family
- The things that need to change for the child or family.
The assessment involves meeting and talking to the child, parents, their extended family network and other relevant professionals. For a child to be kept safe, you must involve all those who are naturally connected to the child through personal or professional relationships.
When the assessment is finished, there are a number of outcomes which we call our ‘response pathways’..
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