General News

HIQA and Tusla

By June 13, 2024 No Comments

Campaigners advocating for the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to be granted the power to sanction Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, are set to present their case to an Oireachtas committee today. The push for these powers stems from concerns about Tusla’s ability to meet its statutory obligations effectively.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

1. Background on HIQA and Tusla:
– HIQA: An independent authority in Ireland that ensures health and social care services meet high standards of quality and safety.
– Tusla: The Child and Family Agency responsible for supporting and promoting the development, welfare, and protection of children, and the support of families.

2. Current Situation:
– HIQA currently has the authority to inspect and report on Tusla’s services but lacks the power to impose sanctions or enforce compliance when shortcomings are identified.
– Campaigners argue that without enforcement powers, HIQA’s ability to ensure that Tusla addresses deficiencies and improves its services is limited.

3. Campaigners’ Concerns:
– Persistent issues within Tusla, such as delays in responding to child protection concerns and inadequate follow-up on cases, have been reported.
– Examples of these issues include high-profile cases where failures in the system have led to tragic outcomes.
– Campaigners believe that giving HIQA sanctioning powers would create a stronger accountability framework and drive necessary improvements within Tusla.

4. Oireachtas Committee Hearing:
– The campaigners will present evidence and make their case before the Oireachtas committee, which is responsible for scrutinising public policy and administration.
– The goal is to persuade lawmakers to consider legislative changes that would empower HIQA to impose sanctions on Tusla.

5. Potential Implications:
– If the campaigners are successful and HIQA is granted sanctioning powers, it could lead to more robust oversight of Tusla.
– Enhanced accountability could improve the quality and timeliness of services provided to children and families.
– Conversely, there might be concerns about the impact of increased regulatory pressure on Tusla’s operations and resources.

The hearing today is a significant step in the ongoing efforts to ensure that child and family services in Ireland are held to the highest standards and that shortcomings are addressed promptly and effectively.

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