Children’s services publication statement 4 August 2022

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published an inspection report on the Child and Family Agency’s (Tusla’s) foster care services in the Dublin North City service area. 

HIQA is authorised by the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 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 and to report on its findings to the Minister, 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.

HIQA commenced an announced thematic inspection of Dublin North City’s foster care service in March 2022. However, due to the risks identified regarding a lack of statutory visits to children in care and supervision and support visits to foster carers, it escalated to a risk-based inspection. Five standards were inspected as part of this inspection, of which one was found to be substantially compliant and four were not compliant. 

Governance and management systems had not ensured that children were visited in line with the legal requirements set out in the Child Care Regulations, 1995. For example, one child had not been visited by a social worker for over three years. In addition, while the majority of supervision and support visits to foster carers were good quality, systems to oversee visits to foster carers required improvement to ensure more frequent visits to foster carers occurred. The lack of visits to children and foster carers meant that basic measures to ensure good safeguarding of children in care were not in place.

An urgent compliance plan was issued to the Area Manager after the inspection as a result of these risks. The area provided HIQA with satisfactory assurances in relation to how the service was addressing these issues. 

The majority of the serious concerns and allegations reviewed by inspectors were managed in line with Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2017) and the interim protocol for managing allegations and serious concerns against foster carers. However, further improvements were required to ensure all serious concerns and allegations were appropriately managed.

This inspection report can be found at