HIQA reports finds long delays in completing the assessments of relative foster carers in the county

A HIQA report has found long delays in completing the assessments of relative foster carers in the county.

The Health Information and Quality Authority carried out announced inspections on foster care services over three days in May of this year.
Data provided to HIQA inspectors showed there were 128 foster care households in the service, 77 general foster carers and 51 relative foster carers.

The report found foster care services to be non-compliant in four areas of the eight areas assessed, including safeguarding and child protection and the approval of relative foster carers.

There were long delays in completing the assessments of relative foster carers and Garda vetting was not in place for one relative foster carer.

The HIQA report found was no system to ensure that Garda vetting was renewed for foster carers within the required timeframe; almost 40% of the 128 foster care households had not been reviewed over the past three years.

Furthermore, not all foster carers were trained in line with Children First: National Guidance on the Protection and Welfare of Children.

In response, the Kerry foster care service, which is located in Tralee, agreed to undertake a number of remedies including: the introduction of an updated Garda vetting process and the provision of Children First training.