Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Tusla publishes its Annual Report for 2021

Report details the Agency’s service activity during a year marked by a unique set of challenges.

Tusla – Child and Family Agency has today published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2021, detailing the service activities and progress made by the Agency in its 8th year of operation, a year that saw more than 73,000 referrals to its Child Protection and Welfare Service alone.

As with the year previous, 2021 was again underscored by the effects of the pandemic on Irish society, and as a critical service provider of frontline essential services for children and families, the Agency’s core focus was to ensure the continuation these essential services.  In addition to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, Tusla in 2021 was also severely impacted by the cyber-attack on the HSE ICT network. The Agency’s response required a large-scale mobilisation and delivery of a rapid business continuity and recovery programme to ensure the full recovery of all services.

Against the backdrop of these challenges for the Agency, the demand for services and support for children and families continued to increase in 2021.  In addition to the increased referrals the Agency also continued to provide all of its other statutory services in Adoption, Domestic Sexual Gender Based Violence, Education Welfare and Support, Regulation of Early Years Services and a whole range of family support services. 

The 2021 Annual Report is the first one in the three-year planning and delivery framework of Corporate Plan 2021-2023, which was launched last year. The plan set out an ambitious reform programme and the key priorities for the Agency, focusing on the three strategic priority change areas of Practice, Culture and Structure. 2021 saw the successful recruitment ready to start in 2022 of the first phase of new governance structures. The Agency now has a new Executive Management Team (EMT), and six Regional Chief Officers (RCOs) to manage local delivery of all services, in the devolved new six region arrangement.

Speaking about the Tusla Annual Report 2021, Chair Pat Rabbitte said, “The Agency continues to change and develop despite the major challenges of the past two years.  Continuous change is our defining feature and this is reflected in the many positive improvements. We recognise as a public service organisation that we have many more challenges to address and there is no shortage of effort on our part in facing those.


I offer my sincere thanks to our staff, our partners in the community and voluntary sector, the Board of the Agency, the Minister and his Department for all of the effort that goes into providing a public service such as ours. Their collective work is what is reflected in this Annual Report.”  

Key Figures from 2021 

  • In 2021, the Agency managed 73,069 referrals to Child Protection and Welfare Services.  
  • There were 5,863 children in care at the end of 2021, 90% of whom were in foster care. 
  • 23,807 children received a family support service in 2021. 
  • 3,059 young adults were in receipt of aftercare services at the end of 2021. 
  • In the 2020/2021 academic year, TESS (Tusla Education Support Service) worked with 5,533 children. 

The Tusla Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2021 are available to view on our website 

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