Tom PhotoHIQA Standards in Child Protection and Welfare Services in County Roscommon have again come in for criticism with the publication of a HIQA inspection report following visit carried out last year.

Prospective Independent candidate for the Roscommon South Leitrim by-election Former Mayor of Roscommon Tom Crosby voices his concern with the findings in the report.

It¹s the first inspection of such services and follows the establishment of the Roscommon Child Abuse Inquiry in 2009.

HIQA inspectors reviewed 63 files of children and spoke with 14 children and 17 parents during this visit which was carried out over five days in November and December last year.

The Roscommon service, then run by the HSE (before Tusla took over in January) was deemed to be well managed but with some issues in that some children and families still experienced delays in accessing the service.

The  Former Mayor Tom Crosby states that it is critical that lessons are learned from the following findings in the report otherwise we could be faced again in the County with a repeat of the shocking neglect cases where
were highlighted in county Roscommon in 2010 and 2011.

The report found that there were 98 high priority cases of children awaiting the allocation of a social worker and that 44 of these had been waiting more than three months with concerns remaining over the level of risk they were
being exposed to in the meantime.

Overall deficits were highlighted in governance, in the measures in place to reduce risk and in information management.

The service was only fully compliant with six standards inspected and had 13 Œmoderate non-compliances¹.
Concerns were also raised about decision making by staff members who used their professional judgement as opposed to national guidelines on risk and thresholds of harm.

However, the report also specified that cases of organisational and institutional abuse were well managed as were adverse incidents.

And it said that overall, children received a child centred service with management taking initiatives to reduce waiting lists despite facing
challenges in terms of staffing deficits.

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