Sunday 23 July 2017

Tusla has power to order unvetted workers off the premises

'A random sample of 500 inspection reports found problems with garda vetting at more than a third of facilities'
'A random sample of 500 inspection reports found problems with garda vetting at more than a third of facilities'
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

When an allegation is made in relation to a staff member at a crèche, the first priority of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is to ensure the child's safety.

Tusla responds to risks of this nature in a proportionate manner, said a spokeswoman.

This was based on the assessed risk to the child or children, she added.

She said garda vetting was one of the areas focused on in inspections this year. This is due to levels of non-compliance identified in 2015.

A random sample of 500 inspection reports found problems with garda vetting at more than a third of facilities.

The introduction of new regulations for early years services in 2016 gives Tusla new powers.

It allows Tusla to trigger an escalation process to respond to non-compliance in relation to garda vetting.

Where non-compliance is identified, Tusla can direct a service to ensure a person without the appropriate vetting does not remain on the premises.

They can order that there is no access to children until the vetting is in place.

If the issue persists, Tusla can remove the childcare service from the register, which would result in the service having to close. To date, this measure has not been taken.

Irish Independent

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