Saturday 21 September 2019

Children continued to be left in a foster family for 18 months before investigation was launched

Hiqa. Photo: PA
Hiqa. Photo: PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Children continued to be left in a foster family for 18 months before an investigation was launched into allegations against them, an inspectors’ report has revealed.

The delay was among a range of concerns which came to light during an inspection of foster services in the Carlow/Kilkenny area

Inspectors from Hiqa checked a sample of ten files and found sub standard practice in the case of seven.

The file in relation to the family where the delay of 18 months happened showed the allegations, the nature of which are not released, were later not substantiated.

Another file showed a delay on six months in carrying out an investigation.

The inspectors also found seven in ten of the foster families had not been reviewed in more than three years.

In response Tusla the Child and Family Agency said today the report highlights good practice and “areas for improvement”, which are actively being progressed through a comprehensive action plan. 

Marie Kennedy, Area Manager, Tusla, said: “Children were not found to be at risk at the time of the inspection."

The report highlights good practice in areas such as the quality of assessments and supports for foster carers.

"A number of aspects of the service that require improvement are also identified. Work is underway to address these through a comprehensive action plan which has been submitted to, and accepted by, HIQA.”

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