Tusla Statement re COVID-19
As the State agency with responsibility for child protection and welfare, and a range of other services, Tusla, like all public service organisations is planning for, and responding to the challenges caused by COVID-19 and this evolving situation.
The agency has put a range of operational measures in place to ensure the delivery of essential services during this time across key areas including child protection and children in care, emergency out of hours’ services, and domestic, sexual and gender based violence services.
We continue to liaise with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with regard to the unfolding situation in the early years’ sector and further details as they emerge will be advised.
3,500 of our almost 5,000 workforce are currently mobile enabled and this is of particular assistance both for critical service continuity and also public and staff health and welfare during this time.
We are committed to playing our part in delaying the spread of the virus and to protect the children and families we work with, staff providing essential frontline services, and carers providing valuable care for children. At all times this is in accordance with public health advice from the Department of Health Chief Medical Office, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and the HSE, and in line with Ireland's national action plan.
We are planning for the potential redeployment of Tusla staff to frontline Tusla services. As a close partner with the HSE, with many shared links we are also assisting their efforts through some redeployment and other support systems.
Speaking about the agency’s approach, Bernard Gloster, Chief Executive, Tusla said: “As a critical service provider of essential frontline services for children and families, we are focused on ensuring that the most necessary of these services are sustained during the outbreak of COVID-19.
This is an evolving situation and we will continue to alter our approaches and contingency planning in line with demand and public health guidance.
I want to express my thanks to the Tusla workforce and our many partner organisations for their flexibility and dedication during this unprecedented challenge.
I would like to reassure the public that all referrals or concerns about children are being screened and assessed in line with normal practice and that where a child is at immediate risk, they receive an immediate response.”
Anyone with a concern about a child’s safety or welfare should contact their local duty social work office, details are available on the Tusla website at www.tusla.ie or contact us via the Tusla online portal at portal.tusla.ie
Further updates in relation to steps taken by the agency and future arrangements will issue as the situation evolves.