Social workers were unable to visit 63 foster children


A social worker’s visit to at least 63 children in Tusla’s care service was overdue at the end of March, according to the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

An inspection report of foster families in Dublin’s north metropolitan area revealed four other cases where it was unclear whether they had a current visit. The inspection took place from March 28th to 31st.

Hiqa said the handling of allegations and serious concerns in this area “needs improvement”.

In response to the report, Tusla said that “a number of improvements” were needed in the operation of the service.

“Children who spoke to inspectors reported positively about their experience of the care service and described warm relationships with their social workers,” it said.

“Foster parents spoke positively of their involvement in local support groups, finding them informative and a place where they felt heard and valued.

“Some of the key issues highlighted in this report relate to the timeliness of statutory visits to foster children and foster parents, and the governance and monitoring of cases.

“The division is working to improve all of these areas and has agreed a compliance plan with Hiqa.

“All visits to foster children required by law have been carried out since the inspection. Any outstanding visits to foster parents have also been completed.”

Tusla’s regional chief officer in Dublin Northeast said the inspection highlighted that “further progress is needed”.

“We have developed a service improvement plan that clearly outlines the actions to be taken to improve, and we are working hard to implement it,” said Eilidh MacNab.

Data provided by the service prior to the inspection showed that 422 children were in foster care in the area. Of these, 145 were placed with relatives and the remaining 277 with general foster parents. Social workers were unable to visit 63 foster children

Fry Electronics Team

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