Lack of Túsla reviews of Foster Carers ‘alarming’ – Ó Laoghaire
Yesterday HIQA published reports that highlighted alarming statistics with regard to reviews of foster carers by Túsla in both the South Dublin/Wicklow and Louth/Meath regions.
It highlighted that a large percentage of foster carers were not subject to a regular review by Túsla, some having gaps of over three years.
Responding today, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;
“The reports published yesterday raise many concerns around child protection policies in place, and how they play out in practice, in relation to children in foster care settings.
“Túsla has rarely been out of the news lately, for many of the wrong reasons, with public confidence in the agency being at all at time low.
“The report into the South Dublin/Wicklow region stated hat 84 per cent of 188 of 223 foster care households in the area have not been subjected to a performance review by the Child and Family Agency in over three years.
“This is despite Child Protection concerns being reported in several of these settings.
“The report stated that no systems were in place to document when reviews were, or more worryingly so, were not carried out.
“It is deeply concerning to think that the State body charged with protecting the children of the State are neglecting their responsibility to these children.
“Furthermore, it was reported there were foster carers who didn’t know what a foster care review was; which is unbelievable and abhorrently unacceptable.
“It is the responsibility of Túsla to ensure that the necessary safeguards are in place to provide children with the best level of care possible.
“This is not the first report to highlight such deficiencies in foster care services, and vindicates my own position that the sector is in need of a full audit and serious scrutiny.
“The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs must hold those responsible to account for such failings.