Noting the publication of a HIQA inspection report for Child Protection and Welfare Services in the Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan service area, Tusla has issued a statement acknowledging that there are still improvements needed in the operation of this service.
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.
The inspection showed that whilst children and their families reported positive experiences 0f the service, there are still improvements needed in the operation of this service.
Of the positives highlighted, one of the most significant is that the children and parents who spoke with inspectors gave positive accounts of their engagement with social workers, the support they received, and of the positive impact the service has had on their lives.
Speaking about the report, Liam White, Tusla Area Manager for Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan said: “This inspection highlighted the important and essential work Tusla does with children and families however it is clear that further progress is required if we are to meet the standards we want for our service. We have developed a Service Improvement Plan, clearly outlining the actions for improvement, and are working hard to implement this, to enable a better experience for the children and young people in our services and the families that engage with us. The report also evidenced that where a child is at immediate risk, they receive an immediate protective response which was reflected throughout the report.”
The report noted areas where improvements were required, in particular the governance and oversight systems of cases and of record keeping in relation to case supervision and audits of children’s records.
In response, the area has outlined plans to strengthen the governance and oversight of cases on the CPNS through improved supervision and monitoring systems. In addition, the area plans to implement new procedures regarding the allocation of social workers and minimum requirements for visits to children on the CPNS, as well as an escalation process to senior management if the procedure is not adhered to.
Tusla receives consistent and robust regulation and oversight by various external bodies, including HIQA. This oversight assists us in ensuring that our practices deliver good quality and appropriate interventions and services for children and families.
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