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Over 5,000 Tusla cases remain without a social worker – O’Reilly

20 April, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Health Louise O’Reilly has described a response to a parliamentary question given by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs that shows over 5,000 cases held by Tusla do not have a social worker allocated to them as “extremely worrying”.

Tusla have come under scrutiny in the past for such a high level of unallocated cases, and these figures raise further concerns.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“It is extremely worrying to discover that over 5,000 cases remain without a social worker, despite repeated calls for Tusla to act in this regard.

“That figure represents 20% of Tusla’s overall caseload, which is a staggeringly high number.

“I note that of these there are 834 that are considered to be of high priority, yet over half of these high priority cases are awaiting a social worker longer than 3 months.

“We must consider that these cases, although not an absolute emergency, require urgent attention, and the best interests of the child are not being prioritised due to long waiting times.

“Tusla are falling well short of goals when it comes to hiring social workers. I understand the field of qualified social workers is not a saturated one, but Tusla must begin to look elsewhere for recruitment as it is having a detrimental effect on those involved.

“I hope both the Tusla Board and Minister Katherine Zappone can work together in addressing such extraordinary figures, and employ the staff required to deal with these cases as a matter of urgency.” 

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