The children who come to the attention of social services are some of the most vulnerable in our society. Their needs must be assessed properly and help and support when needed must be timely. The Child and Family Agency (Tusla) has responsibility to protect children and promote their welfare under both the Child Care Act, 1991 and the Child and Family Act 2013. It does this by direct service provision and by funding other agencies to do so on its behalf.

A well-governed and monitored service provides consistently high quality services with minimal variation across the wider system. The best leaders and managers have created a culture of high aspirations for children in care. They provide strong oversight of practice and children’s progress, while continually looking for ways to improve the care provided. Where there is good leadership and management, children do not wait for help and support, social workers have enough time to work with families, and the workforce have the necessary skills and qualities to do the job well.

The role of HIQA is to drive improvement in the provision of health and personal social services for the benefit of the health and welfare of the public. HIQA, through its monitoring programmes, aims to provide assurances to the public that service providers are implementing and meeting National Standards and relevant regulations and are making quality and safety improvements that safeguard children.