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Child and Family Agency notes today’s publication of a HIQA inspection report for Child Protection and Welfare Services in the Tusla Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary service area.
The focus of this inspection was on children listed on the Child Protection Notification System (CPNS) who were subject to a child protection safety plan, and the aligned governance arrangements in place to ensure effective and timely service delivery to these children.
Of six standards assessed, five were found to be compliant or substantially compliant, while a further standard was found to be moderately non-compliant.
The inspection found that the Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary service had effective leadership, governance and management arrangements in place, which ensured that children identified as at ongoing risk of significant harm received a consistent, good quality service.
Further to this, inspectors noted there was an open, transparent culture within the service where learning was valued, and that the service placed a strong emphasis on the monitoring and auditing of the service it provided to children and families.
Children who spoke with inspectors gave positive accounts of their experience of the child protection service, and the majority of children felt that their lives had improved because of the social workers’ involvement with their family.
Robust child protection safety plans with clear actions were put in place to keep children safe, and multidisciplinary involvement and cooperation was promoted and supported.
The report also noted areas where improvements were required, in particular inspectors noted that suitable residential placements could not be sourced for two children who required them.
While this situation was not satisfactory, supports were being provided to these children to keep them safe at the time of the inspection.
Tusla has recently published its Residential Care Strategic Plan, in which the Agency identifies the actions required over the next three years to increase the number of Tusla Residential Care Placements.
Anne Marie Stafford, Area Manager for Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary, Tusla said:
"This inspection report points to many examples of the good work done by Tusla staff in Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary area day to day. We are pleased that the area was found by inspectors to have good levels of compliance, however we are aware that we have further work to do.
"A number of additional posts have been approved for the for the area, including two additional social care worker posts, a quality assurance post and a clinical psychology post. These roles will further support the work of the existing staff teams in the area.
"Tusla has agreed a number of actions with HIQA to further improve the service and to build upon the foundation of good work that is carried out by our staff."
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