Tusla-Child and Family Agency has issued a statement following the publication of the HIQA inspection report in relation to child protection and welfare services in the Waterford/Wexford area, which was undertaken in August and September this year.
Tusla say of the seven standards assessed by HIQA, two were deemed compliant, two substantially compliant and three partially compliant.
Tusla say the inspection report acknowledged many positive aspects of the child protection and welfare service in Waterford and Wexford including:
- Children were very complimentary about their experience with social workers, and parents spoke highly about social workers that worked with their families.
- The service promoted child-centred interventions, and representing the voice of the child throughout the service was a priority.
- There were plans in place to reduce waiting lists within the service.
- When a child was provided with a service, this was of good quality and effective at ensuring their safety.
- The area manager and the management team provided strong leadership, and overall decision-making within the service area was collaborative.
- All staff recruited had the required qualifications and competencies to perform within their roles
- Promoting a quality improvement agenda was a key theme throughout planning in all services and teams in the area.
- Good quality assessments were factual and objective.
On the impact of Covid-19, inspectors found:
- The area manager and his team were proactive at ensuring the impact of restrictions on service provision was minimal.
- Risks impacting on service provision were regularly reviewed and plans to mitigate risks were identified and implemented promptly.
- Where restrictions did impact, contingency plans were agreed and put in place, and the area was also proactive in identifying potential risks associated with the lifting of restrictions.
- The HIQA inspection also identified areas for improvement and work has been carried out in recent months to address these areas and make the required changes.
Commenting on the report, Waterford/Wexford area manager Vincent Daly said: “We are pleased that the area was, overall, found by the inspectors to have good levels of compliance with the standards assessed. We are wholly committed to making our child protection and welfare services even stronger, and indeed this inspection highlighted that there was a sense that the service area is making continuous progress.
"Staff in the area are committed to achieving the very best outcomes for children and families, and we have a good relationship with the community and with our partners in community services. We are undertaking many initiatives to recruit and retain social work staff, and additional staff will take up positions this month. We will continue to make further improvements in the months ahead to ensure that children and families in Waterford and Wexford continue to receive timely and effective services.”