HIQA report reveals no Garda vetting for several foster homes in Mid-West

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

HIQA reports reveals no Garda vetting for several foster homes in Mid-West

The HIQA report was published this Tuesday

THERE was no record of Garda Síochána vetting for a number of foster carers in the Mid-West, a report by Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA) has found.

The report, published this Tuesday, found that of the eight standards inspected in this area, three standards were substantially compliant and five standards were non-compliant, three of which were major non-compliances.

Labour deputy Jan O’Sullivan told the Limerick Leader that she was “particularly concerned” by the report, following inspections carried out in the Mid-West this March.

“It is just not acceptable that vulnerable children are living in homes where no Garda vetting has been carried out on people living in that household,” said deputy O’Sullivan.

Additionally, she said there is an urgent need to recruit more social workers and to put measures in place to retain those already in the service.  

“As well as a shortage of social workers, there is also a shortage of foster carers in the Mid-West,” she said.

The report found that supervision and support of foster carers was not provided in line with the standards. In a number of foster carer households, neither the foster carers nor the children had been allocated a social worker.

Furthermore, safeguarding visits to these households were infrequent. Inspectors requested and received written assurances that these foster carers have now received appropriate safeguarding visits, it stated.

Data provided by the area showed that, in the 12 months prior to inspection, there were 427 foster care households in the area. These foster care households comprised of 287 general foster carers and 140 relative foster carers.