The ISPCC has welcomed a report on Child Protection and Welfare Services provided by Child and Family Agency Tusla in their Waterford / Wexford service area.
The ISPCC, which provides services to children, young people and families, including the Childline Listening Service, highlighted how the report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority this week featured the words of children and young people who spoke positively about their engagements with social workers.
The organisation expressed concerns, however, regarding reported inconsistencies in the implementation of Children First child protection guidelines by Tusla Child Protection and Welfare Services in the area, as well as a high level of child protection and welfare social worker vacancies.
ISPCC Chief Executive John Church said: “It is very positive to see that this report published by HIQA this week carries the words of children and young people in the Waterford Wexford Tusla service area who said they felt they were listened to and had a positive experience of the social work system.
“Children have a right to be heard and speaking openly with children about their care situation can be particularly positive. When a lot of other areas of their lives may be out of control, it can be very powerful for children to have an area they feel they can input into and have control over. This approach appears to reflect the experiences of parents in the area also.
“It is concerning that inconsistencies were found in the implementation of Children First child protection guidelines, which outline the standards which all organisations with children in their care must have in place.
“The report additionally identifies ten child protection and welfare social worker vacancies in this service area – a relatively high level of vacancies, which is negatively affecting the area’s ability to manage its waiting lists and ensure children and families receive the timely service which they ought to have access to.
“It is positive to read, however, that, where and when interventions did occur, services were deemed to be child-centred and focused on the individual needs of the child.”
The ISPCC’s Childline Listening Service is always available to any child or young person in Waterford, Wexford and across Ireland who would like support in relation to any issue on their mind.
The service can be reached by calling 1800 66 66 66, chatting online at Childline.ie, or texting to 50101.