Thursday, 28 March 2019

Questions (172)

Bernard Durkan


172. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which the various files in respect of children at risk or otherwise are up to date in terms of follow-up and investigation; if an intervention is necessary to expedite the process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14656/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is the statutory body with primary responsibility for child protection in Ireland. I can advise the Deputy that a significant action has been taken in relation to record keeping and file management within Tusla.

A National Child Care Information System, (NCCIS) has been developed as a technology solution to record all case history of every child, whether it be the subject of child protection or welfare referral to Tusla, to facilitate the integration and sharing of information on child protection and welfare between the relevant social work departments and to be a pathway to generate reports between local and national level all in real time.

The system allows social workers to record work and track the progress of the case of each child including any concerns that may arise. All case notes, attached documents, relevant information are held on NCCIS as the Master File and the system can be searched nationally by Tusla child protection and welfare staff, facilitating integration and sharing of information across the country. The system also allows social work team leaders and principal social workers to monitor case records.

Effective information governance and quality information are central to improving the quality of services provided to vulnerable children and families. The further roll out of the National Child Care NCCIS to all 17 Tusla areas this year, replacing paper-based systems and legacy electronic systems, will benefit Tusla. For the first time, Tusla social workers are working off an integrated national IT system for child protection and welfare services which facilitates the integration and sharing of information. The system replaces all previous methods of record keeping and my officials will be updated on the roll out, integration and further development of this system.