Tusla cannot be run from Dublin, new CEO claims

Tusla cannot be run from Dublin, new CEO claims
Bernard Gloster.

The new CEO of Tusla, Bernard Gloster, has said the agency must become a local organisation and that it cannot be run from the centre of Dublin.

Mr Gloster said its current structure came from an old HSE structure and is not suitable.

In his first interview since becoming CEO, Mr Gloster told RTE Radio One's told Today with Sean O'Rourke that he wants to improve the quality of the service for those who use it and for staff while also improving public confidence in the agency.

He said: "Public confidence in Tusla has been very much informed by the negative stories... very legitimate commentary a lot of it but by no means the whole story.

"We need to work hard to have a more balanced view and a more balanced public perception of Tusla."

He said there is no doubt that Tusla, in certain situations, fails to meet the standards that might be expected of it and that he intends to move into a space where, if a problem or short coming is identified, that the agency will be much more pro-active in communicating that to the public.

He also said that they are in the middle of a recruitment process, saying that the social work of today is very different to the 1980s and 1990s, that young professionals want to travel and so on.

He said: "We have to change the narrative about child protection... it is extremely complex and extremely difficult."

Mr Gloster went on to explain that "we seem to have moved to a rate of commentary.. and because we are troubled by that as a society we almost want someone to blame for that, and that becomes the criticism of Tusla".

Speaking with Sean O'Rourke this morning, he said that the Hyde and Seek creche, shown in a recent RTÉ Primetime investigates programme, was in a regulatory process with Tusla before the programme aired, but not because of the content of the programme, which was unknown to the agency.

He added that this meant the "public expectation of what Tusla could or could not have done was quite mis-informed".

Mr Gloster said there are two sides to every story and not every case is a matter of child protection or mistreatment.

He pointed out that in a more recent case, where a child protection concern was raised, Tusla's child protection team was able to step in and inform parents.

He mentioned that he has a fantastic working relationship with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, and spoke of having to justify his budget of €750m to the people of Ireland as to how it is stewarded and managed.

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