Tusla Publishes its Annual Report for 2018
Tusla - Child and Family Agency published its Annual Report for 2018 today.
The report details Tusla’s service activities and progress made in its fifth year of operation. During 2018, the agency managed 55,136 child protection and welfare referrals, which is more than one referral every ten minutes. Further to this, 24,211 children received family support services from Tusla, including 1,734 Meitheal early intervention processes initiated.
Speaking about the Annual Report 2018, Brian Lee, National Director of Quality Assurance, Tusla said: “Tusla made significant progress in a number of key areas in 2018, and provided supports and services that improved outcomes for children and families across Ireland. We are committed to building on the many improvements already made to ensure we continue to provide and enhance the quality of services to children and families in communities across the country.
As we move forward, Tusla faces a number of societal challenges, such as demographic changes and an increase of social issues for young people. With these challenges in mind, we will continue to focus on delivering the actions set out in the Corporate Plan 2018–2020, to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children and families.”
Key achievements by the Agency in 2018 include:
- The management of a 26% (11,506) increase in child protection and welfare referrals since 2013 - a digital portal was launched in January 2018 to allow for transmission for child protection and welfare referrals.
- 26% (2,253) reduction of cases awaiting allocation to a social worker since 2014.
- 90% of approved Foster Carers have a Link Social Worker, which has increased from 75% in 2014.
- Tusla’s National Out of Hours Social Work Service was launched in December 2018.
- There was a 110% increase in inspections of early years’ services from 2013 to 2018.
- Publishing 4,855 early years’ inspection reports on the Tusla website.
- Publication of a Quality and Regulatory Framework (QRF) for early years services - an important resource for early years services in achieving compliance with the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016.
- The implementation of a new practice model called Signs of Safety which includes a more collaborative and consistent way of working with children and their families.
- The national roll-out of the new National Child Care Information System (NCCIS), which saw all 17 social work areas gain access to a single integrated information system to manage child protection and welfare cases.
- Delivery of a comprehensive action plan in response to HIQA’s investigation into the management of allegations of child sexual abuse against adults of concern.
- Registration of all Tusla special care units by HIQA under the new regulations.
- Completion of the development of a Trace Register to support the Adoption Information and Tracing Bill.
- The expansion of the Family Resource Centre (FRC) Programme, increasing the number of centres from 109 to 120 with the addition of 11 new centres in March 2018.
- Funding for Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence services was increased by €1.5 million to €23.8 million in 2018, to help meet Ireland’s obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).
- The development of the Educational Welfare Service (EWS) - a new national Intake Framework for the School Completion Programme was piloted across ten sites, pending national roll-out in 2019, and a new digital portal was launched to accept school returns from the 3,950 schools across the country.
- A new Child Safeguarding Statement Compliance Unit (CSSCU) was set up in March 2018 - a dedicated unit to manage the requirement for service providers to have a Child Safeguarding Statement in line with the requirements of the Children First Act, 2015.