Action needed following latest HIQA child services report

Seán Sherlock TD
26 February 2018

Labour spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Seán Sherlock TD, has called for the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone to take action to address several major non-compliance issues in child protection and welfare services highlighted by HIQA in Carlow/ Kilkenny and South Tipperary.

The inspection found five standards of major non-compliance out of a review of six standards in the Tusla operated services in these areas.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“This inspection has raised a number of concerning issues with child protection and welfare services in the Carlow/ Kilkenny and South Tipperary regions, with five out of the six standards assessed deemed as ‘major non-compliances’.

“We are seeing problems with background checks, a slow response to referrals that need immediate intervention such as allegations of physical abuse, a lack of a robust system for notifying Gardaí on abuse allegations, as well as poor oversight of child protection and welfare cases.

“There are also staff shortage issues and stagnant waiting lists with no proposals to address the backlog.

“Also of real concern is that HIQA notes that audits undertaken by Tusla back in 2016 had actually identified many of these issues but nothing had been done to rectify them.

“This is not the first HIQA report along these lines, with inspections in Cork, Kerry and the mid-West last year also raising similar concerns.

“An extra €40.6 million was allocated to Túsla in this year’s Budget- bringing its total funding for 2018 to €750 million.

“We now need assurances from Minister Zappone that these resources are being properly directed, and are in part going towards ensuring State child protection and welfare services country-wide are fully compliant with HIQA standards, which is clearly not the case at present.”

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