Concerns raised over quality of foster care

The Health Information and Quality Authority has raised concerns over foster care services in Dublin and the north east region.

It is warning the HSE about deficiencies in its management, after an investigation highlighted a number of 'practice deficiencies' in the area.

According to the Irish Times, this finding is contained in a wider review of foster care in seven HSE regions in Dublin and Cork, that is expected to be concluded shortly.

Today's revelation follows weekend reports of carers not being vetted before having children placed with them. The HSE has said the reports were misleading.

Under the Childcare Act all foster parents are subject to a mandatory assessment by HSE social workers and Garda vetting.

However, one-third of foster carers had not been vetted by the Garda or the HSE and in one instance the audit discovered that a child was placed with a foster carer who had a number of criminal convictions and who was not registered.

The state appointed inspectorate HIQA is expected to report on its current investigation in the next two months.

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