A vulnerable child referred to Tusla every 10 minutes
The agency tasked with looking after vulnerable children is being referred more than one case every 10 minutes.
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, said it was referred 55,136 young people who were subject of concern in 2018, a 26pc rise since 2013.
However, it continues to encounter difficulties recruiting enough social workers.
Many children are still having to wait to be allocated a social worker and only 90pc of approved foster families have a link social worker, although the delays have eased in both instances in recent years.
Brian Lee, national director of quality assurance at Tusla, said while it made significant progress in a number of key areas in 2018 it faces a number of societal challenges.
It received 732 complaints about its services during the year. Lack of response or poor communications was the main area of grievance.
There were 6,029 children in care last year, down from 6,454 in 2014.
During the year, more children in care needed private residential or foster care services and this had a "significant" impact on Tusla's resources.