Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Tusla acknowledges publication of the HIQA report for the Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary area

Tusla – Child and Family Agency acknowledges the publication today of the HIQA child protection and welfare inspection report for the Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary area.

The report highlights areas for improvement and Tusla is actively working to implement, as a priority, the comprehensive action plan that was submitted to HIQA.

Commenting on the report, Patricia Finlay, acting Chief Operations Officer, Tusla, said: Tusla has recognised the need to strengthen our screening processes and that is why we developed our Child Protection and Welfare Strategy 2017-2022. A comprehensive implementation plan is now underway to embed the strategy within the Agency over the next three to five years.

“As part of that, training in the Agency’s new national approach to practice, Signs of Safety, is being rolled-out around the country and has begun in the Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary area. This will ensure that children and families receive a consistent, appropriate, proportionate and timely service.”

The report shows that during the inspection our social workers demonstrated appropriate knowledge to recognise children in need of urgent care and protection, and were observed to undertake comprehensive and skilled screening calls. Some 97% of all high priority cases identified as needing an initial social work assessment were allocated.

Tusla is committed to implementing the required actions to improve compliance with the national standards and has put the following measures in place to improve services in the area:  

  • An Area Governance Oversight Group has been established to focus on service review and improvement.
  • All referrals for the area are now processed through a central point of contact in line with Children First and additional social work staff have been appointed to oversee the screening of referrals.
  • The area is preparing for the introduction of the National Childcare Information System (NCCIS) in March 2018, which will ensure the social work department has a robust, secure information system to support the delivery of effective child protection and welfare services.
  • The area is actively implementing the Joint Working Protocol for An Garda Síochana/Tusla.

Tusla is subject to consistent and high quality regulation and oversight. This is crucial to ensure that our practices deliver good quality, timely and appropriate interventions and services for children and their families.

Service improvements are closely linked to Tusla’s transformation programme which will enhance many aspects of the Agency, including organisational culture, HR strategy, governance systems, and further corporate functions.

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