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Standards at Túsla Midlands "deeply concerning" - Ó Laoghaire

21 July, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD expressed his grave concern at the failure of Túsla Midlands to reach expected standard in HIQA inspections, in all but one category.

“I am deeply concerned about this TÚSLA report. The standards are clearly not being met, and there are serious implications for the safety of children in all this.”

“In the 27 standards inspected by the Inspections body, one standard was met, 22 standards required improvement and of particular concern, four standards were identified as a significant risk.”

“This inspection, in January of this year, arose from TÚSLA advising HIQA of a high number of unallocated child protection cases and, notifications of alleged abuse received from An Garda Síochána to which no response had been made by the Midlands service area.”

“This is quite shocking, that the agency tasked with dealing with such complaints, had received notification of alleged abuse, and yet they had received no response. This clearly meant that children were being put at risk.”

“I am particularly concerned that two of the areas which were assessed to be a ‘serious risk’ were as follows;

- “Serious incidents are notified and reviewed in a timely manner and all recommendations and actions are implemented to ensure that outcomes effectively inform practice at all levels.

- The service has a robust and secure information system to record and manage child protection and welfare concerns.”

“This underlines that there were serious incidents not being notified and reviewed in a timely manner, or that recommendations were not being followed through, and that data management was not adequate or robust.”

“Twenty six complaints were received by the area in 2015, and 23 of these were closed, however, as this was not an independent process, HIQA found that a manager could potentially be reviewing their own decision-making while dealing with the complaint.”

“There were also serious concerns expressed in relation to assessing risks in relation to retrospective abuse, and immediate and high risks that were ‘not dealt with in a timely manner’. This is also very worrying, and again, is upsetting to those who have suffered abuse in the past.”

“The report is very worrying and in some ways quite shocking.”

“At the time of the establishment of TÚSLA, Sinn Féin and many others said that it could only work with robust management, and adequate resources. It is clear that in the TÚSLA midlands region there are neither, and I would call on the Minister to rectify both of those issues.”

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