Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath has called on the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to ensure the serious deficiencies found in child protection services in the Midlands are addressed.

Deputy Troy made the comments following the publication of a new Health Information and Quality Authority report which found that child protection services are not fit for purpose.

“This HIQA report is alarming and highlights systemic failures in our child protection services right across the Midlands. The report highlights that a number of children in care did not have an allocated social worker for extended periods of time ranging from two to nine years.

“Furthermore the report finds that some care workers are being left in isolation and are not receiving necessary support and feedback from management. In one case a team, which was predominately made up of agency social workers, did not have a direct line manager.

“The child protection service is struggling in the Midlands due to a lack of resources and inconsistent oversight. Frontline social workers are at breaking point as they are expected to deal with a huge volume of cases without receiving the necessary support to do so. They also lack any realistic career options which are impacting on morale. This is leading to a high turnover of staff which is making it more difficult to develop the service.

“Minister Zappone needs to ensure that Tusla gets to grips with this problem. There has been a consistent problem with the child protection service in the midlands and it’s time action was taken to resolve these issues.”