Hiqa highlights issues with Child Protection Notification System services in two areas

The child protection and welfare service operated by Tusla in the Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan area was found to be not compliant with three of the six standards assessed
Hiqa highlights issues with Child Protection Notification System services in two areas

Risks were identified in relation to seven children under the care of the child and family agency, Tusla, in the Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan area, however, not all the children were visited to ensure their safety.

A report by The Health Information and Quality Authority published the findings of inspections carried out in March, assessing compliance with national standards relating to the management of children at ongoing significant risk of harm placed on Tusla's Child Protection Notification System (CPNS).

The inspection report states that of the six standards assessed, the Sligo, Leitrim and West Cavan area was not compliant with three standards, "substantially compliant" with two standards, and fully compliant with just one.

While governance and management systems were established in the area, Hiqa said the "effectiveness of these systems varied", advising that monitoring and risk management systems needed to be strengthened "to provide a consistent, safe service to all children listed on the CPNS".

The report noted there was also "ineffective child protection safety planning" for some children in the area.

"Visits to other children were not carried out in line with the frequency required by their safety plan," Hiqa found.

However, the authority added: "Appropriate assurances were provided to inspectors regarding the effective implementation of the safety plans for these children."

A separate report was also published following an inspection of services in the Carlow, Kilkenny and South Tipperary area, which was found to be compliant with three standards, substantially compliant with two, and not compliant with one.

Hiqa stated children in the area "received a good quality, safe service and the social work service provided effective leadership, governance and management arrangements".

However, some risks were found, including the absence of suitable placements for children.

The authority said, despite the area "elevating this risk", efforts had not resulted in the necessary additional places being provided.

Overall, Hiqa found that services in both areas had policies and procedures in place to guide staff, ensure a timely service and keep children on the CPNS safe.

Both areas were also found to have supported and promoted multidisciplinary involvement and cooperation to "ensure the needs of children were met in a timely way".

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