By the time the NCCIS (National Child Care Information System) is fully rolled out, it will by the most of a decade since the plan was first mooted.
The new system will allow Tusla to monitor the progress of notifications and referrals across the system and across the country.
With the current paper-based system, for example, Tusla can only search for referrals by the identity of the person who made the referral or by the nature of the concern. It cannot say how many child welfare concerns have been raised in a given period regarding children living in homeless accommodation such as hotels, whereas such information would be easily accessible under NCCIS.
A Tusla spokesperson said the NCCIS includes a case management system to record operational data and clinical information for social workers, is currently operational in the Mid West, and its effectiveness is constantly monitored through a Project Advisory Group who review the system and handle escalated user issues.
Donal O’Malley, chair of the Irish Association of Social Workers, said the news the system would be fully operational was welcome, but added it needed to be backed by the necessary personnel. “We welcome the fact that it’s coming in, but it is disappointing, to say least, that it has taken this long and that it is going to take another 18 months,” he said.