Inspection of the HSE child protection and welfare service in Carlow/Kilkenny Local Health Area in the HSE South Region

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/291056
Title:
Inspection of the HSE child protection and welfare service in Carlow/Kilkenny Local Health Area in the HSE South Region
Authors:
Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA); Social Services Inspectorate (SSI)
Publisher:
Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), Social Services Inspectorate (SSI)
Issue Date:
10-May-2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/291056
Additional Links:
http://www.hiqa.ie
Item Type:
Report
Language:
en
Description:
Overall, the Health Service Executive Carlow/Kilkenny Local Health Area provided services to children which were safe. A generally well experienced and long standing workforce provided services to children and families, but the systems in which they operated were not robust and some poor outcomes were identified for children. The standard of social work practice and the quality of the child protection and welfare assessments were good. The LHA was experiencing a period of change, with the establishment of the Child and Family Agency, the integrated service areas (which are replacing the local health areas) and new business processes. Whilst taking this into account, inspectors found that there were a significant number of the National Standards that were not met. Most noteworthy were the non-compliances relating to safe and effective services and leadership, governance and management. The LHA did not follow procedures set out in Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011) and the Child Protection and Welfare Practice handbook (2011). There were waiting lists for assessments and for cases to be allocated to social workers but these were not effectively managed. Social workers used their individual judgment rather than any guidance to assess risks to children. Some waiting lists had not been accurately prioritised and there was a possibility that high priority cases might not receive the attention they required. The Child Protection Notification System (a record of all children in the LHA who are considered to have unresolved child protection issues, including neglect) was not accurate and up to date. The Authority found that there were deficits in the governance arrangements in the LHA, in terms of accountability and responsibility. There was little evidence of proactive planning, while risk management was not of good quality. The workforce had not received up-to-date training and there was no robust case management system. Although social workers were familiar with Children First (2011) guidance, they were not aware of other national policies for children and family services. The LHA did not focus on quality improvement. Few audits were carried out and there was no consultation about the service with children and families although many who spoke to inspectors were positive about the service they received. There was no evaluation of the effectiveness of the service in terms of its outcomes for children. The LHA did not use the information available to plan and make improvements in the child protection and welfare service. Data on assessment and allocation activity, waiting lists and prioritised cases was collected but no analysis took place and no changes were made as a result. Some welfare services were underutilised whilst some parents who spoke to inspectors believed that delays in receiving help and support had contributed to a deterioration in their ability to care for their children safely. The findings from this inspection are described in Section 5 of the report. Section 6 provides a summary of the judgments under each Standard. The related noncompliances and required actions are set out in an Action Plan at the end of the report to assist the LHA to drive improvement within the services. The LHA responses are also included in the Action Plan.
Keywords:
CHILD HEALTH; CHILD HEALTH SERVICE
Series/Report no.:
631

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorHealth Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)en_GB
dc.contributor.authorSocial Services Inspectorate (SSI)en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-05-14T11:22:49Z-
dc.date.available2013-05-14T11:22:49Z-
dc.date.issued2013-05-10-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/291056-
dc.descriptionOverall, the Health Service Executive Carlow/Kilkenny Local Health Area provided services to children which were safe. A generally well experienced and long standing workforce provided services to children and families, but the systems in which they operated were not robust and some poor outcomes were identified for children. The standard of social work practice and the quality of the child protection and welfare assessments were good. The LHA was experiencing a period of change, with the establishment of the Child and Family Agency, the integrated service areas (which are replacing the local health areas) and new business processes. Whilst taking this into account, inspectors found that there were a significant number of the National Standards that were not met. Most noteworthy were the non-compliances relating to safe and effective services and leadership, governance and management. The LHA did not follow procedures set out in Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011) and the Child Protection and Welfare Practice handbook (2011). There were waiting lists for assessments and for cases to be allocated to social workers but these were not effectively managed. Social workers used their individual judgment rather than any guidance to assess risks to children. Some waiting lists had not been accurately prioritised and there was a possibility that high priority cases might not receive the attention they required. The Child Protection Notification System (a record of all children in the LHA who are considered to have unresolved child protection issues, including neglect) was not accurate and up to date. The Authority found that there were deficits in the governance arrangements in the LHA, in terms of accountability and responsibility. There was little evidence of proactive planning, while risk management was not of good quality. The workforce had not received up-to-date training and there was no robust case management system. Although social workers were familiar with Children First (2011) guidance, they were not aware of other national policies for children and family services. The LHA did not focus on quality improvement. Few audits were carried out and there was no consultation about the service with children and families although many who spoke to inspectors were positive about the service they received. There was no evaluation of the effectiveness of the service in terms of its outcomes for children. The LHA did not use the information available to plan and make improvements in the child protection and welfare service. Data on assessment and allocation activity, waiting lists and prioritised cases was collected but no analysis took place and no changes were made as a result. Some welfare services were underutilised whilst some parents who spoke to inspectors believed that delays in receiving help and support had contributed to a deterioration in their ability to care for their children safely. The findings from this inspection are described in Section 5 of the report. Section 6 provides a summary of the judgments under each Standard. The related noncompliances and required actions are set out in an Action Plan at the end of the report to assist the LHA to drive improvement within the services. The LHA responses are also included in the Action Plan.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherHealth Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), Social Services Inspectorate (SSI)en_GB
dc.relation.ispartofseries631en_GB
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.hiqa.ieen_GB
dc.subjectCHILD HEALTHen_GB
dc.subjectCHILD HEALTH SERVICEen_GB
dc.titleInspection of the HSE child protection and welfare service in Carlow/Kilkenny Local Health Area in the HSE South Regionen_GB
dc.typeReporten
All Items in Lenus, The Irish Health Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.