Tusla statement re: HIQA child protection and welfare service inspection report for Dublin North City
Tusla-Child and Family Agency notes the publication today of the HIQA inspection report in relation to child protection and welfare services in the Dublin North City area.
Of seven standards assessed by HIQA, one was deemed compliant, one substantially compliant, and five partially compliant.
This inspection report acknowledged many positive aspects of the child protection and welfare service in Dublin North City, including:
- The receipt of child protection reports was well managed in the area.
- The majority of referrals were screened in a timely manner and were consistently categorised and prioritised correctly.
- Parents and family members told inspectors that their experience of social work involvement was good.
- Inspectors found that children were kept well informed by their social workers, while social workers interacted with children in ways that were appropriate to their age and development.
- There was evidence of good cooperation between the social work department and family support agencies in the community to ensure that children and families received an appropriate response
- Where children were identified as being at immediate risk or required immediate action, timely and appropriate actions were taken to ensure they were safe and protected.
- Social workers routinely sought children’s views during the assessment process and they were seen on their own and/or observed in the family home.
On the impact of Covid-19, inspectors found:
- The area manager and her team were proactive at ensuring the impact of restrictions on service provision was minimal.
- Risks impacting on service provision were regularly reviewed during Covid-19 management team meetings and plans to mitigate these risks were identified and implemented.
- Staff were supported to ensure that essential services were maintained for children at risk as required, including home visits.
The HIQA inspection also identified areas for improvement. In particular, there were significant staff vacancies in the area which was impacting on the delivery of services to children. Some progress had been made through an agency conversion which had provided some level of stability, and other initiatives included the use of a social care worker to complete screening under social work supervision, and the recruitment of social work students, when qualified, as project workers.
Commenting on the report, Joy McGlynn, Area Manager, Dublin North City said:
“We are pleased that the area was, overall, found by the inspectors to have good levels of compliance with the standards assessed. Covid-19 has presented significant challenges in 2020, and our staff, together with our community partners, have worked hard to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and families in this area.
We have taken steps to address staff shortages through a variety of mechanisms, and other issues raised by HIQA will be comprehensively addressed in our quality improvement plan for the area. We will continue to make further service changes in the months ahead to ensure that children and families in the north city area of Dublin continue to receive timely and effective services.”
Tusla receives consistent and high quality regulation and oversight by various external bodies, including HIQA. This oversight assists us in ensuring that our practices deliver good quality, timely and appropriate interventions and services for children.