Friday, January 14, 2022

Around 20% of children in care in the Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary area had not had a social worker allocated them, according to a recent report.

An inspection of the Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary Tusla area was conducted last October to monitor the service area’s implementation of the actions in its child protection and welfare and foster care services arising from previous HIQA inspections.

While the oversight of unallocated children in care had improved, the HIQA report noted increased levels of unallocated children.

HIQA noted appropriate systems were in place to monitor and review unallocated cases but there were 71 (24%) children without an allocated social worker. This was up from 30 from the previous inspection.

HIQA assessed the standard of ‘child and family social worker’ as ‘non-compliant moderate’ as a result.

Of the four other standards, one was compliant and three standards were substantially compliant.

Children in care who were surveyed had different views about their experiences with social workers which were generally positive.

The report noted: “However, the frequent changes in social workers was a common view expressed by the children and their foster carers. One child had 11 social workers over a three year period, three of which were since the last inspection in October 2020. Another child had four social workers over a five year period.”

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