Managers at Tusla outnumber counsellors by almost four to one

The number of senior managers working for the Child and Family Agency outnumbers its counselling and psychology staff by almost four to one.

Figures contained in Tusla’s Annual Report 2014 show that while the agency employs 79 managers at grade 8 and upwards, it has just 21 psychology and counselling staff. The figure does not reflect the number of psychologists or counsellors available to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service which comes under the Department of Health’s remit.

Tusla’s annual financial statement, attached to the annual report, shows chairwoman Norah Gibbons was paid board member fees of €20,520 in 2014. The report says the fees are in accordance with the code of practice for the governance of state bodies. Ms Gibbons’ fee was the highest of nine board members. Two board members, Noel Kelly and Sylda Langford, waived their fees.

Foster carers were paid statutory allowances of over €100m in 2014 while more than €36m was spent on legal costs. Just €1.5m was spent on therapy costs while more than €8m was spent on travel and subsistence.

Tusla chief executive Gordon Jeyes was paid €195,000 in 2014 as well as more than €2,000 in expenses. His remuneration includes a provision for a private pension scheme. He is not included in the statutory pension scheme.

The financial statement said while there had been “no significant breaches of the control environment” of Tusla during 2014, “there is need for continued emphasis on, and development of, the control environment”.

Jennifer Gargan of Empowering Young People In Care said there were still children who were without an allocated social worker or written care plan, and that despite recruitment there were still shortages of social workers, given the numbers of people out on maternity leave and other leave.

Ms Gargan said the figures indicated there were 30 referrals each year for each social worker in the system.


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