HIQA EVIDENCE TO CHILDRENS’ COMMITTEE ALARMING
Labour Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has expressed alarm at evidence given by HIQA to the Childrens’ Committee this morning.
The Committee heard from HIQA representatives on the findings of the authority’s Statutory Foster Care Service inspection reports.
Deputy O’Sullivan, who is Labour’s representative on the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, commented:
“This morning’s evidence was shocking on a number of fronts.
“The most alarming was information that children in the care of the State can be placed with families that have not been Garda vetted, and some staff in childcare services are not vetted.
“These are some of the most vulnerable children in our communities, and the idea that they could be placed in such situations is frightening and entirely unacceptable.
“Other alarming evidence included that 465 children in foster care had not been allocated a designated Social Worker at the end of 2016, and that ‘significant risk’ was found in several of the regions inspected, the worst being the Midlands and Dublin Mid-Leinster/South Central, and that the majority of standards overall ‘required improvement’.
“The Committee will hear further evidence on Foster Care in the coming weeks but it is very clear from today’s hearing that regulation is urgently needed, and that the vetting and recruitment of social workers are absolute priorities.”