Tusla statement on HIQA inspection of the Dublin South Central fostering service
Tusla – Child and Family Agency notes the findings of the HIQA inspection report published today in relation to fostering services in the Dublin South Central area. Commenting on the report’s findings, Jim Gibson, Chief Operations Officer, Tusla, said “HIQA inspection reports are an important measurement tool and allow us to ensure that Tusla services operate at the highest possible standard. The report published today demonstrates evidence of good, child-centred practice and care in Dublin South Central, however, we acknowledge that there are areas which require improvement within the area’s fostering services.
“Every child in foster care in Dublin South Central has an allocated social worker to ensure they are safe and well cared for in their placement. However, Tusla remains committed to improving the care and safeguarding of children in foster care in Dublin South Central and all children in our care. In conjunction with HIQA, we have created and begun to implement an action plan in Dublin South Central to address those areas identified as requiring improvement and have put in place a governance and oversight group to track progress on the action plan.”
The following are some of the steps Tusla is taking to improve the service and standards in Dublin South Central in a timely and measurable way to ensure that children receive the level of care Tusla aims to provide to all children and families:
- Safeguarding and child protection: Tusla has conducted a robust audit of all current open allegations since the inspection and a review is currently underway of all serious welfare concerns made since 2015 in the area. Safeguarding measures have been put in place to ensure no child is at risk.
- Assessment and approval of relative foster carers: Tusla has allocated all 39 unapproved relative fostering assessments and they will be completed by the end of June.
- Foster carer reviews: Tusla is prioritising foster carer reviews for all foster carers where allegations or serious welfare concerns exist. All founded allegations and serious welfare concerns will have a foster carer review by the end of July. Tusla has also put in place a schedule of foster carer reviews which will be completed over the coming year.
- Management and monitoring of foster care agency: Tusla has established quarterly governance meetings in the area to review current allegations and serious welfare concerns. A complex case forum is also being established to ensure the Area Manager is alerted to placements at risk and to review cases of children with complex levels of need placed in foster care. The National Child Care Information System (NCCIS) will ensure a robust, secure information system to support the delivery of effective services and will be rolled out in Dublin South Central by September 2017.
- Training and qualifications: Tusla has audited all HR files. Where Garda vetting is not on file, it has been applied for. In the interim, safeguarding measuring are being taken and no staff member without current vetting has unsupervised contact with children.