Children’s services publication statement 18 April 2019

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published an inspection report on a private foster care service. This report refers to Origins Foster Care Service.

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.

An announced inspection of Origins Foster Care Service was carried out on 12 February 2019. Of the four standards assessed during this inspection, one was found to be compliant and three substantially compliant.

This was the first inspection of the fostering service undertaken by HIQA. Overall, despite the service being relatively new, it was well-run and delivered a high-quality service to foster carers. Safeguarding systems were in place and were effective. All foster carers were allocated a link social worker and received regular visits. The supervision and support provided to foster carers was of good quality. Issues were addressed as they arose which de-escalated potential problems before they impacted on the stability of children’s placements.

Improvements were required in a small number of areas to reach compliance with the standards, such as monitoring and oversight of safety plans, identification of foster carers’ individual training needs, and the risk management system.

Origins Foster Care Service has provided action plan responses to address the substantial compliances identified on inspection, including timelines for implementing these actions.