Children’s services publication statement 10 February 2020

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published a thematic inspection report on the Child Protection and Welfare Service operated by the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) in the Sligo Leitrim West Cavan service area. Thematic inspection programmes aim to promote quality improvement in a specific area of a service and to improve the quality of life of children and families receiving the services.

HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs under Section 8(1)(c) of the Health Act 2007 to monitor the quality of services provided by Tusla to protect children and promote their welfare. HIQA monitors the performance of Tusla against the National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children and advises the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and Tusla.

HIQA conducted a thematic inspection of the child protection and welfare service in Sligo Leitrim West Cavan over four days in October 2019. This inspection aimed to assess compliance with the national standards relating to managing referrals from receipt to the point of completing an initial assessment.

Of the seven standards assessed, three were found to be compliant, three were substantially compliant and one was partially compliant.

At the time of the inspection, the child protection and welfare service in Sligo Leitrim West Cavan was child centred and responsive to the needs of children from the point of receipt of a new referral through to the completion of an initial assessment. Children were kept safe and protected from harm, and their welfare was promoted. Children and parents who spoke with inspectors were positive about the service that they received.

The leadership and management of the service had a strong focus on service improvement, and there were effective management systems in place.

Overall, the service appropriately managed child protection and welfare referrals in line with Children First 2017: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children. Planning for a child’s safety was an integral part of the management of referrals from receipt of a new referral to completion of the initial assessment.  

Staff felt supported and had regular good quality supervision.

Some improvements were required in the recording of staff supervision and in safe recruitment practices, as there were gaps in the information held on recruitment files. Quality assurance mechanisms required further development to ensure the continuous improvement of the service.


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