Health and safety watchdog report finds major deficiencies in foster care services

Two HIQA reports on foster care in the West and Dublin show major deficiencies in services.

Inspectors found that in the Sligo/Leitirm West Cavan area, only two of eight standards were compliant while in Dublin north, only half were up to scratch, three of which were major breaches.

There were significant concerns about the recording, filing and IT systems and complaints were not appropriately classified.

In the 12 months before the inspection, there had been a high level of staff turnover which impacted on the frequency of visits to foster carers.

Garda vetting had not been updated for 34% of carers.

Garda vetting of foster carer had not being updated for 34% of carers.

There was inadequate arrangements to safeguarding visits to unallocated foster carers and significant delays in approving relative carers.

Half of all foster carers had not been reviewed in over three years.

In repsonse to the findings, Tusla have said measures will now bw put in place to imporve the services and standards.

They included:

  • All individuals whose Garda vetting needs to be renewed have been identified and Tusla is in the process of securing this updated vetting;
  • Six relative foster care assessments which had been delayed will be presented to the Foster Care Committee for consideration by September;
  • The fostering principal social worker has assumed overall responsibility for the management of relative care assessments, including tracking the time duration of assessments;
  • A schedule has been put in place to review all foster carers who have not had a foster carer review in over three years.
  • A fostering recruitment strategy is being developed and will include an action plan.


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