17 October 2016

Labour Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD, says the issues raised in a HIQA report on foster care services in the Midlands published today, need to be addressed.

During inspections carried out in May, HIQA found that none of the 26 standards assessed were met; 20 needed improvement, with significant risks identified in relation to six standards.

Inspectors also found that some children had been in foster care since as far back as 2011 without any decision being made on their future.

Commenting on the report, Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“These are among some of the most vulnerable children in the country and we need to ensure the proper resources and appropriate staffing levels are in place to properly take care of them.

While it’s welcomed that childrens’ rights were respected and promoted overall according to the report, it is concerning that 8 per cent of children did not have a social worker.

There has been a firm commitment given to continue to hire additional social workers until all children in care have a social worker assigned to them. They are the most vulnerable children in the country and have to be prioritised, in the Midlands, and throughout the country.”

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