495 social workers have quit Tusla since 2014

More than 40% of the nearly 500 social workers who have quit work with Tusla, the child and family agency, since the start of 2014 gave no specific reason for their decision to leave.

Figures provided by the agency to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) show 495 social workers left the service since the start of 2014, including 146 last year and 120 in the first nine months of 2017.

While 212 who left since 2013 gave no specific reason, 41 went abroad, 49 said they were leaving for personal reasons, and 27 said it was due to family matters.

A further 61 had reached either minimum or maximum retirement age and another 21 took cost-neutral early retirement.

Nine people said they quit as they felt there were no promotional opportunities and 11 people said they left due to no job satisfaction.

The information was provided to the PAC as a follow-up to a recent appearance by Tusla, at which it outlined efforts to both recruit additional frontline staff and to retain existing social workers.

The data provided to the PAC shows the social work turnover in the first nine months of this year is running at 9.11% — higher than the rate of 8.4% last year and more in line with the 9.41% level of 2015.

However, Tusla points out that the turnover rate was 15% between 2010 and 2013, and, since then, was averaging 8.4%, a rate it said compared favourably to the UK.

The additional information provided to PAC by Tusla also outlines improvements across a number of areas, so far this year.

They include expansion of outreach services in Donegal, Clare, and Kilkenny for men who have suffered domestic violence in those counties following a 20% increase to the end of June in the number of people seeking help.

Regarding plans to provide additional emergency refuge spaces which were due to come on stream this year, Tusla said this was now not likely to be achieved due to a delay in accessing suitable property and undertaking necessary capital works.

“Identifying a suitable funding stream for capital works has added to the delay,” said Tusla.

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