Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tusla voices concern over Louth-Meath child protection services

Mon, Jun 8, 2015, 01:00

 

Agency head Gordon Jeyes: anxious about structure, relationships and practice

The latest national figures from Tusla, as at March 31st 2015, show 6,403 children were in care, including 4,108 with foster families, 321 in general residential care and 17 in specialist residential care. Photograph: Getty Images

The latest national figures from Tusla, as at March 31st 2015, show 6,403 children were in care, including 4,108 with foster families, 321 in general residential care and 17 in specialist residential care. Photograph: Getty Images

Fiona Gartland

 

The head of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has said he has concerns about child protection services in Louth-Meath.

Gordon Jeyes said the agency was as concerned in Louth-Meath about “some of the organisational structure, relationships and practice”, as it was about Laois-Offaly, though the issues were different.

In April, it emerged there were more than 1,000 files in Laois-Offaly that appeared not to have been progressed. A review identified 127 children who required urgent attention and 660 who needed an allocated social worker.

Mr Jeyes said there were aspects of Louth-Meath that would become clear in the future.

“We think the way in which they were managing the workflow from the front door – assessing, working with and passing on to longer-term teams: that was not working properly and led to some categorisation mistakes,” he said.

In Laois-Offaly, he said, all cases had been reviewed and allocated, with additional staff engaged and the agency was “piloting a rapid improvement” there, and in Louth-Meath.

“My view is the quality of social work staff in Ireland is very high; we need to continue to improve leadership and management of that.”

The latest national figures from Tusla, as at March 31st 2015, show 6,403 children were in care, including 4,108 with foster families, 321 in general residential care and 17 in specialist residential care.

Of those in care, almost 500, or 8 per cent, did not have an allocated social worker, a 1 per cent rise on December 2014.

There was a higher percentage of children in Dublin regions without social workers: 193, or 12 per cent for Dublin Mid-Leinster, and 140 children, or 9 per cent, in Dublin North East. In the South region, 62 children, or 3 per cent, had no social worker and in the West, 110, or 7 per cent were without a social worker.

 

 

 

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/tusla-voices-concern-over-louth-meath-child-protection-services-1.2240781