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Tusla cites staffing problems on referrals failure

13 Aug 2019 / regulation Print

Tusla cites staff problems on referrals failure

Tusla has been criticised by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) for not notifying gardaí quickly enough about suspected crimes of neglect, physical and sexual abuse in the Dublin South West/Kildare/West Wicklow area.

The health watchdog said that child protection and welfare referrals were not consistently screened within 24 hours – a standard set out in the Child and Family Agency's own business processes.

The district concerned covers Tallaght, Crumlin, Naas and Newbridge and has 108,000 under-18s in a large youth population.

Referrals

Tusla received 2,116 referrals of child protection and welfare reports in the six months prior to inspection, but only 24 were referred to gardaí.

The HIQA report says that risks shown in an inspection of the area's foster-care service last November prompted the review of services.

Last November, staffing issues were identified by management as compromising service delivery.

Notified

Out of 77 referrals reviewed by HIQA inspectors, none had been notified by Tusla to gardaí,

though eight cases required such a notification.

Tusla's chief operations officer Jim Gibson said that the organisation accepted the findings, but had made headway in implementing reforms.

 

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