Children’s services publication statement 12 June 2018
Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published an inspection report on a private foster care service. This report refers to Foster Care Ireland.
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 foster care services provided by Tusla, to report on its findings to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs 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.
Foster Care Ireland commenced providing foster care placements in 2017, and this was HIQA’s first inspection of the service. Of the five standards assessed on 6, 7 and 14 March 2018, one was found to be compliant, one substantially compliant, and three standards were judged to be moderately non-compliant.
Overall, inspectors found this was a small, well-run service with a number of good systems in place to protect children placed in foster care placements and to support foster carers. The service had adequate safeguarding arrangements in place, and assessments of prospective foster carers were comprehensive; however, the quality of information gathered required improvement.
Improvement was required in the management of complaints, as there were delays in reaching a final outcome when a complaint was made. At the time of inspection, Tusla did not have a service-level agreement in place with Foster Care Ireland detailing how the service would carry out responsibilities on Tusla’s behalf.
Foster Care Ireland has provided action plan responses to address the non-compliances identified on inspection, including timelines for implementing these actions.