Monday 21 October 2019

40pc of staff working in child protection ‘not vetted by gardai’

By Ed Carty and Lyndsey Telford, Press Association

Some 40% of staff working in a state child protection and welfare bureau have not been vetted by gardai.

A watchdog has warned of significant concerns and serious deficit in the Health Service Executive's Carlow/Kilkenny division with staff not always notifying gardai of concerns about abuse.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said there were major gaps in background checks on staff who had been employed in child protection prior to 2008.

Elsewhere, the inspectors found that not all staff understood all of their responsibilities under Children First, rules introduced to safeguard and protect children.

Hiqa said that after 644 initial assessments were recommended on children's welfare only 56 were completed within a recommended timeframe.

And they also found evidence that gardai were not always involved in child welfare concerns at the appropriate stage and that communication was too informal.

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