Children’s services publication statement 10 July 2019
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published its inspection report on Tusla’s compliance with the Child Care (Placement of Children in Care) Regulations, 1995 (22 – 25).
HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs under Section 69 of the Child Care Act, 1991 as amended by Section 26 of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011, to inspect social work services provided to children placed in residential care by the Child and Family Agency (Tusla).
An announced inspection of the Tusla Dublin North East region, between 8 and 11 April 2019, found that both the Louth Meath and the Dublin North City service areas were compliant with one and substantially compliant with three of the four regulations assessed.
Inspectors found that each child whose records were reviewed had a secure case record. Although the vast majority of children’s records held all the information that is required, there was a noticed gap in one case. As a result, assurances were sought and received from the Dublin North City service area that up-to-date copies of voluntary consent to state care were in place and on file for each child.
Care plans across the region were found to be comprehensive and sensitive to the individual needs of children. The participation of children in the planning process was well recorded, as were the views of their parents or guardians. Considerable efforts were made to increase children’s participation in planning their care and a new positive initiative, which started in one service area, was being rolled out across the region. This was the development of a graphic presentation of the key elements of a care plan, which may greatly assist all children, including those with learning difficulties or complex needs, to visualise the plan and information given to them.
Children across both service areas were allocated a social worker, with the exception of one child in the Dublin North City service area whose case was allocated to a social care worker. Children were visited within the time frames set out in the regulations and the quality of visits undertaken was clearly recorded on their files. All but one child had an allocated social worker and support from a social care worker was in place for a child awaiting allocation.
All children had care plan review meetings which were completed within or very close to the regulatory time frames. Where delays existed, they were linked with the sensitive nature of factors surrounding the individual child, or placement issues.
The Dublin North East region has provided an action plan response to address areas for improvement identified on inspection.