Minister for Children Barry Andrews said today that lessons have been learned from a report into child fostering services which found widespread disparities in how the services were being run.
Healthcare watchdog HIQA carried out inspections in three HSE areas in Dublin, and found two, Dublin North West and Dublin North Central to be in a state of crisis, with many foster children not having a social worker assigned to them.
Minister Andrews says it is unacceptable that compliance with basic regulations should vary so wildly and there are many examples of poor management in the two HSE areas in question.
He also said that some local health chiefs had taken an a la carte approach to its statutory obligations.
HIQA chief executive Dr Tracey Cooper said the failures discovered were so serious it had stopped standard inspections of HSE foster care in Dublin North West and Dublin North Central and was instead reviewing every case of a child in care in those regions.
“The HSE has failed in its statutory duty of care to a significant number of children in the Dublin North West and Dublin North Central areas and the impact on many of them has been a negative one,” she said.
“This serious and unacceptable situation should never have been allowed to happen and the HSE must ensure now that it is providing effective, accountable services and safeguarding children to a safe standard across the country.”
HIQA said a separate investigation into HSE foster care in the north of city found it mostly safe and well organised.