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Referrals to Tusla up 23%, to almost 70,000 cases

23 Jul 2021 / ireland Print

Referrals to Tusla up 23%, to almost 70,000 cases

Referrals to the Tusla Child and Family Agency rose by 23% in 2020, to almost 70,000 cases.

Tusla is now including referrals which may not require a child protection response, but may need input from family-support services.

In 2019, there were 56,561 referrals, compared with last year’s 69,712.

A total of 22,356 children were on the books of family-support services last year, a decrease of almost 2,500 compared with 2019.

There were 5,992 children in the care of the agency at the end of 2020.

Just over 90% of children in care were being fostered, and 2,943 young people/adults were in receipt of after-care services at the end of 2020.

There were 5,372 children in receipt of Tusla Education Support Services, down from 6,291 in the previous year.

The agency received 158 applications for adoption across the areas of domestic, step-parent, inter-county and fostering to adopt.


All children eligible and assessed for adoption had their orders granted.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) conducted three statutory inquiries into the agency in 2019, following voluntary disclosures.

Administrative fines totalling €200,000 were imposed as a result of inadequate procedures in the transmission of sensitive personal data.

Tusla received 647 formal complaints in 2020, down from 714 the previous year.

Tusla has said that new procedures for dealing with cases under the Hague Convention 1996 must be developed, given that Britain is no longer subject to the Brussels II regulation dealing with child custody, post-Brexit.

The agency had a budget allocation of more than €791 million, and a capital development spend of almost €15.4 million.

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