Fianna Fáil Senator Catherine Ardagh has expressed her concern regarding quality and standard of foster care provided in Dublin South Central and which has been the subject of a HIQA review which was published earlier today.

The report compiled by HIQA following its inspection of the foster care services in the Dublin South Central region has found serious gaps and risks in the provision of care and which pose a significant risk to the children relying on the services.

Commenting on the report’s findings, the Dublin based Senator said, “The details which have emerged out of today’s report make for some very difficult and disappointing reading. Those in foster care in our community are often some of the most vulnerable and who need the best supports available.

“Among the issues highlighted is the fact that the foster care service in Dublin South Central is crisis-led and failed to meet seven of Ireland’s established standards for the provision of foster care services.

“What is most difficult to comprehend is the fact that many of the failings of the South-Central foster care service had previously been identified in an earlier HIQA inspection in December 2016 but had not been remedied.

“Despite the service being instructed almost 18 months ago to undertake Garda Vetting of all relative carers in the foster care setting, this had not been carried out.

“Sadly, this is an old story where HIQA inspections of Foster Care services are concerned.

“Virtually every single month in Ireland we learn of another report exposing serious deficiencies in the country’s foster care services and the negative impact that these poor services are having on the children and families relying on them.

Senator Ardagh concluded, “We must expect more from the quality and safety standards reached in these types of critical services. Minister Zappone needs to pro-actively set out a vision for change in Irish Foster Care Services that addresses each one of the systemic shortcomings that have been repeatedly highlighted.”