The Minister for Children has said the findings and recommendations of today's HIQA report into how Child and Family Agency Tusla manages allegations of child sexual abuse will be implemented in full.
Minister Zappone says she is determined that the HIQA findings will be used as an opportunity to improve services to protect vulnerable children.
The minister said: "I welcome what Tusla has achieved and this is acknowledged by HIQA.
"I am however concerned about the slow pace of progress in some areas. We need to ‘up the tempo’ of reform now.
"We need to build on what Tusla has started doing.
"I believe that implementing the HIQA report in full is key to ensuring the ongoing safety of our most vulnerable children."
She added: " I am appointing Dr Moling Ryan to chair an independent expert quality assurance and oversight group to drive implementation of HIQA’s recommendations, and we will publish regular updates on the group’s work to keep the public informed of progress."
The minister continued: "HIQA’s analysis is clear – Tusla has made good progress, but there is an urgency to getting the rest of the job done so that we can ensure the best services possible to protect children.
Read the report in full here:
Barnardos have this afternoon expressed concerns about issues raised in the report but welcome the recommendations which offer an opportunity for learning and improvement of services.
Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos, said: “The HIQA report highlights serious gaps and failings within our child protection services.
"However, the recommendations are welcome and do provide a clear pathway as to how services can be refined and improved - hopefully leading to a more child-centred and effective service which will benefit all children in Ireland.
Commenting on the launch of HIQA’s investigation, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance said today: “This investigation provides a real marker in the sand when it comes to understanding how child protection and welfare services are meeting the needs of children at risk.
"HIQA acknowledges considerable reforms that Tusla, a relatively young agency, has put in place to consolidate its services."
She continued: “Tusla was established in 2014 when Ireland was coming out of a recession with no lead-in time and without sufficient resources.