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'Worrying' HIQA report raises questions about safety of foster children in Dublin North West

The report found some children had remained in placements despite allegations being made about foster carers.

Posed by model.
Posed by model.
Image: luxorphoto via Shutterstock

A HEALTH INFORMATION and Quality Authority (HIQA) report into fostering services in the Dublin North East Region has concluded that inspectors were not assured that all children were safe.

Some children had remained in placements despite allegations being made about foster carers, according to the report’s findings – based on inspections carried out in October of 2012.

The report uncovered serious deficits with the foster care service in the Dublin North West Local Health Area, noting that that “not all foster carers took up training opportunities and most has not undergone reviews.” It also found that 116 children in foster care (32 per cent) had only been assigned a designated social worker in the three weeks prior to inspection.

Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald described the report as unacceptable, saying that she would be meeting the HSE and Gordon Jeyes, Chief Executive Designate of the Child and Family Support Agency as a matter of urgency to discuss the “critical issues identified”.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy has described the report as “shocking and extremely worrying”, saying the fact that one third of foster carers did not have a link social worker to support them was one of the most serious findings.

“This HIQA report has found that ‘there were a number of carers who were not deemed suitable for the task yet continued to have children in their care’. Quite frankly this is unbelievable and the Minister must urgently clarify why this remains the case,” Troy said.

A second HIQA report into foster care in Limerick found that, while the standard of social care was good, safeguarding arrangements were not as robust as required. A number of children were recorded to be living with unapproved carers.

Read: HIQA’s report into the Dublin North West fostering service
Read: HIQA’s report into the Limerick fostering service

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