Galway Bay fm newsroom – A HIQA report into the Child and Family Agency’s foster care services has found good levels of compliance in the Galway/Roscommon region.
The report focuses on compliance with six national standards and arises from inspections of all 17 service areas conducted in 2019 and 2020.
Of the 17 service areas inspected, six areas including Galway/Roscommon had ensured that each child in foster care had an allocated social worker.
In the remaining 11 service areas, the percentage of children in care with an allocated social worker varied from 99% down to 78%.
Good practice was noted in Galway/Roscommon, where statutory visits were in line with regulations for 2019 and 2020.
Almost all service areas did not use placement plans as required by the standards.
Galway/Roscommon’s approach to placement planning was found to be advanced compared to other service areas.
There was potential for the focus of placement planning to be enhanced as many just referred to contact arrangements with the child’s birth family, and did not outline the way in which a child’s needs would be met on a day-to-day basis.
In selecting foster carers to meet the needs of an individual child, consideration should be given as to whether the foster carers have the capacity to meet the assessed needs of that particular child through a process called ‘matching’.
Inspectors found that there were five service areas including Galway/Roscommon, where good evidence of the matching process was found on children’s files or provided to inspectors separately.
In another example of good practice, the Galway/Roscommon service area had completed a review of foster care services for Traveller children in care in May 2020.
The report noted that 61% of Traveller children in care were cared for by Traveller foster families compared with 3% in 2014.
Nationally, the weakest area of practice reviewed in this inspection programme was that of care planning and reviews.