Children’s services publication statement 16 June 2022

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published an inspection report on the child protection and welfare service operated by the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) in the Kerry service area.

HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 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 Tusla’s performance against the National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children and advises the Minister and Tusla.

HIQA conducted an inspection of the Kerry service area over three days in March 2022. This inspection assessed compliance with the national standards relating to the management of children who are at ongoing significant risk of harm and who are placed on Tusla’s Child Protection Notification System (CPNS). Of the six standards assessed, two were found to be compliant and four were substantially compliant.  

Overall, HIQA found that the service provided to children listed on the CPNS was good and had improved since a previous inspection in January 2021. The area provided a good quality, safe service to children identified as at ongoing risk of significant harm in the area. Children listed on the CPNS received a social work service which had effective leadership, governance and management arrangements. Some areas required improvement, such as auditing and recording, to ensure complete oversight of the quality of social work interventions.

The area had effective local policies and procedures in place to guide staff, to ensure a timely service and to keep children on the CPNS safe. These were in place as the interim national guidelines on child protection case conferencing and the child protection notification system had not been reviewed since 2018.  

Child protection conferences and review conferences happened in a timely manner to meet children’s individual needs. Child protection safety plans were of good quality and monitored appropriately via regular social work visits. Safety plans were effective in keeping children safe. 

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