Children’s services publication statement 1 September 2023

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published an inspection report on the Child and Family Agency’s (Tusla’s) foster care services in the Cavan Monaghan service area.

HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth under Section 69 of the Child Care Act 1991, as amended by Section 26 of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011, to inspect foster care services provided by Tusla and to report on its findings to the Minister, and to inspect services taking care of a child on behalf of Tusla, including non-statutory providers of foster care. HIQA monitors foster care services against the 2003 National Standards for Foster Care.

HIQA conducted an inspection of foster care services in the Cavan Monaghan service area between 23 and 25 May 2023.

Of the seven standards assessed, one was compliant and six were substantially compliant. Overall, the inspection found examples of good, creative and child-centred practice within the area and also noted some issues that required improvement.

The service sought to promote children’s diversity through service-level initiatives in the area. While there were some creative initiatives in place to promote diversity and a shared understanding of children’s culture and backgrounds within the service, some of these initiatives were in the early stages of implementation and, as a result, had not been introduced to all families at the time of the inspection.

The area did not have a sufficient number of foster carers to meet the needs of the children within the service area, which impacted on their ability to place children within their own communities and to match children with foster carers effectively. Despite these challenges, the inspection found that children were encouraged to maintain and develop family relationships and that the service sought to place siblings together.

The report highlighted mixed findings with respect to children’s rights. The inspection found some good social work practice in this area, such as informing children about their right to make a complaint. Additionally, most children were visited by their social worker in line with regulations, although not every child had an assigned social worker. Improvements were required concerning children’s access to up-to-date information about them in their case files and in seeking the views of younger children and those with a disability. There was also improvement required in the consistent promotion of children’s right to privacy.

This inspection report and compliance plan can be found at the link below.