Tag Archives: HIQA

Tusla CEO Fred McBride

This afternoon.

At a meeting of the Oireachtas committee on Children and Youth Affairs.

Tusla’s Chief Executive Officer Fred McBride is answering questions in respect of a report published by HIQA yesterday.

HIQA’s report looked at the management of allegations of child sexual abuse against adults by Tusla – after it emerged that Tusla had sent a notification containing a wholly false allegation of rape against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe to An Garda Síochána in May 2014.

This false rape allegation was brought to the attention of the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in the same month.

Sgt McCabe wasn’t made aware of this false allegation until January 2016 when Tusla wrote to him and told he was being investigated for this.

Between May 2015 and December 2015, Sgt McCabe was involved in the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation which examined his complaints about poor policing in Cavan/Monaghan and throughout this time, he never knew this false allegation had been documented by Tusla and sent to the gardaí.

It wasn’t until June 2016 that Tusla wrote to Sgt McCabe and told him a mistake had been made.

These matters are currently being examined by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton at the Disclosures Tribunal.

The HIQA report identified 65 cases where the group failed to protect children at “potential risk” of abuse.

The meeting can be watched here.

The report can be read in full here

Related: Tusla identifies failures in 65 cases of kids at risk of abuse (Irish Examiner)

A protest outside Leinster House last January; HiQA’s Mary Dunnion, Phelim Quinn and Paul Morgan this afternoon; Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; Chief Executive, Tusla, Fred McBride

The [HIQA] team found that although 164 of the [Tusla] case files it reviewed were deemed to have been closed, it could not establish that they were.

It also found cases that were inappropriately closed as there were outstanding child protection concerns.

The report states that some children are being left at “potential risk” because of failures at operational level in Tusla to accurately record decisions and actions and to manage under-performance among its personnel.

from a gap between Tusla’s national policy and what is actually happening on the ground regarding the screening of allegations, the development and management of safety plans and Tusla’s communications with people against whom allegations have been made.

…inconsistencies in safety planning practice by Tusla meant that while some children were adequately safeguarded, others at potential risk were not.

It says that “some people were not told that an allegation of abuse had been made against them and others were given only limited information.”

Review finds Tusla must address serious shortcomings (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

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RTE reports:

A HIQA inspection of Child Protection and Welfare Services in the midlands has found that one duty team which regularly dealt with unassessed risk was predominantly made up of inexperienced social workers.

One in five of the cases reviewed by inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority had to be escalated for the attention of the area manager of the Child and Family Agency, Tusla.

Last January’s nine-day announced inspection of the Child and Family Agency’s Midlands Services followed notifications to the watchdog in April 2015 by the Agency.

These included that around 700 unallocated child protection case files pertaining to Laois and Offaly had been discovered in a Portlaoise office and that 822 unacknowledged Garda notifications of alleged abuse had also been found.

The midlands services also cover counties Westmeath and Longford.

Inexperienced staff dealt with child risk cases – HIQA (RTE)

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Charts from the HIQA report into child protection and welfare services provided to children living in direct provision accommodation

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) examined the child protection and welfare services provided to children and families in direct provision centres in four areas across Ireland.

The four areas – the Midlands, Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan, Louth/Meath and Dublin North city – had approximately 650 children living in seven centres.

The HIQA inspection team did not meet with children and their families with the report stating: ‘Inspectors did not wish to raise false hopes or expectations with families in relation to accommodation arrangements or asylum applications.’

In relation to the Reception and Integration Agency – which is responsible for accommodating asylum seekers and coordinating services for asylum seekers – the inspectors met with the manager of the Child and Family Services Unit of the RIA to find out how the unit interacts with the Child and Family Agency in relation to child protection and welfare referrals.

HIQA also sent six questionnaires to the RIA and to managers of the direct provision centres involved. Just three completed questionnaires were returned.

From the report:

Data from the Child and Family Agency showed that there were 209 referrals of child protection and welfare concerns about 229 children living in direct provision accommodation in the 12 months between August 2013 and 2014. This represented approximately 14% of the population of children living in direct provision. This is a significantly higher referral rate than for the general child population of 1.6%.

Of the 209 referrals, 178 (85%) reached the relevant threshold criteria for an initial assessment. This is considerably higher than the average threshold of 50% of all referrals in 2013 that required initial assessment and, as with the higher referral rate for children in direct provision, requires further analysis by key stakeholders to determine reasons for the disparity.

Following initial assessments, the breakdown of the primary report type was 91 (51%) referrals relating to welfare concerns and 87 (49%) relating to child protection concerns which reflects the national breakdown of all referrals to the Child and Family Agency in 2013.

During fieldwork in four areas, inspectors found common themes arising from welfare concerns including physical or mental illness of parents impacting on their capacity to care for their children, children’s mental health issues, and gaps in the provision of practical support.

The child protection concerns included exposure of children to domestic violence, physical abuse due to excessive physical chastisement, protection concerns about older children left caring for younger children, and children being left alone unsupervised.

For a small number of children, action was not taken to protect them. Cases were closed prematurely and in one area, Louth/Meath, there were significant delays in completing assessments and sharing information, which placed children at risk and some children were not interviewed as part of the assessment process. In this area children did not receive the services they needed, initial assessments were not completed and some risks were not addressed.

Inspectors found that on occasion the Reception and Integration Agency moved families for safety reasons but gaps in communication between the providers and the Child and Family Agency at local level meant that this information was not always passed on and, as a result, some social work interventions were delayed or did not happen and potentially placed children at risk.

Of the 87 child protection referrals nationally in 2013 about children in direct provision accommodation, the Child and Family Agency sought and obtained care orders for 13 children, made 18 notifications to An Garda Síochána about abuse, identified 11 children as being at risk of ongoing harm and five children were placed on the child protection and notification system.

In Louth/Meath, there were significant delays in social work interventions. Of particular concern was that in 27 out of the 38 cases reviewed, children were not met with or seen by social workers to inform their decision making about the referral even though records indicated concerns about their safety and welfare. For example, in one case there were significant concerns about an allegation of physical abuse of two children and the case was closed without children being visited.

One referral about a child threatening suicide was waiting three years for a response from the team in Laois/Offaly.

Read the report in full here

HIQA concerns over children in direct provision referred to Tusla (RTE)

HIQA

Newstalk reports:

“Up to seven members of staff were involved in an incident in a children’s care home [for children aged ten to 17] in which a child was handcuffed to restrain them.”

“The incident is documented in a HIQA inspection report into Trinity House and Oberstown boys and girls detention centres, all of which are located on the one premises.”

“The inspection also found that one child was “locked into a room for 83 hours 45 minutes, over a four-day period, including sleeping hours.”

Overall the report found that the centre complied with one of ten standards assessed, and required improvement in six areas. No standards were exceeded.”

HIQA report finds that Dublin detention centre complied with one of ten standards (Newstalk)

HIQA report highly critical of Oberstown detention centre (RTE)

Only one person out of the 40 who applied to Minister for Health James Reilly for a place on the board of the State health watchdog body was ultimately appointed, documents show.

This was despite the fact Dr Reilly’s officials judged that the vast majority of applicants for board positions on the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) were of a high standard and only nine failed to meet the required criteria.

Of the three appointments made by Dr Reilly, one was of a person who applied through the Public Appointments Service, while the other two were appointed directly without having applied through this channel.

Earlier this week The Irish Times reported that none of the 28 people who applied to join the board of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) was selected by Dr Reilly. Documents showed that the Government parties divided up the appointments between them, with Fine Gael getting six and Labour three.

Nice for some.

Reilly selected only one of 40 applicants for board of State health watchdog (Paul Cullen, Irish Times)

(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)