Okay. We can do that. I will give an overview of the progress we have made. It is acknowledged that in the absence of a dedicated Tusla-owned or Tusla-commissioned Irish language service, the quality of services provided through Irish is varied. There are examples of areas in which services of a high standard are provided and of areas in which our obligations are not being met in full. Tusla has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring the availability through Irish of services, documentation and reports in its early years inspectorate, its educational welfare service and its communication unit, as well as in some local areas, including those in the Gaeltacht. While competence in Irish is not one of the criteria used when staff are being recruited to Tusla, we have identified 24 staff across our services who are competent in the language. We are conscious that a staff audit needs to be undertaken to reflect accurately the actual number of staff who have competent levels of Irish for the purposes of service provision. We intend to undertake such an audit in 2019. Twelve of the 24 staff who are competent in Irish are based in the Galway-Roscommon area. They are involved in ensuring services can be provided through Irish in areas like child protection, children in care, prevention, partnership and family support. Among the services they provide are Meitheal, individual parenting sessions, social work assessments, inter-agency meetings and information briefings. Tusla staff in the Louth-Meath area have established a quality improvement initiative to review how better to respond to the needs of children who are referred through Irish. Irish-speaking foster carers are available in some areas for children whose needs are best met in the family setting. Tusla also funds three family resource centres in the greater Donegal Gaeltacht area where services are provided through both English and Irish.
The role of Tusla's early years inspectorate is to promote and monitor the safety and quality of care and support provided to children in early years provision in accordance with the Child Care Act 1991 and the 2016 early years services regulations. The aim of these regulatory inspections is to determine the extent to which services are well governed, the health, welfare and development of each child is supported, children are safe, and premises are safe, suitable and appropriate to the care and education of children. Some 259 Irish-language services are registered with Tusla, 110 of which were inspected in 2018. Reports were provided in Irish to those services which requested them. A further 94 services were inspected the previous year and Irish reports were again provided when they were requested. The early years inspectorate is committed to supporting early years services where Irish is spoken. Formal written communication in Irish between services and the inspectorate is arranged. There is one inspector in the inspectorate with high-level proficiency in the Irish language. A specific Irish language inspector with expert proficiency in both oral and written Irish is being recruited to enhance and increase the service delivery to naíonraí and Gaelscoileanna.
The policy of the inspectorate is that while formal written communications are offered to services on request, inspection reports are available in Irish, as is the quality and regulatory framework, which was published recently. The inspectorate continues to explore initiatives which would make translation more accessible and affordable. It is constantly looking at ways to deliver services through Irish. To enhance this work, the inspectorate engages with external stakeholders and Irish language representative organisations, including Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta, which is an integral member of the early years inspectorate regulatory support forum, and Gaelscoileanna Teoranta, which is a member of the Tusla early years consultative committee. These organisations offer information, advice and input on engaging with senior management in Tusla's early years inspectorate.
Our communications unit is committed to publishing as much content in Irish as possible. It is expected that the amount of such content will increase significantly in the coming year. I will mention some examples of the steps that will be taken. Irish versions of press releases will be drawn up and we will be communicating in Irish across social media platforms. I am personally committed to improving the quality and quantity of the service provided by Tusla through Irish.
I would like to mention some of the steps that are planned for 2019. We are required to prepare a draft language scheme. We have a scheme in the western area at the moment. That is to be extended to the other areas in which we are involved with providing services. As I have mentioned, we are looking at the recruitment of an Irish language officer, or the procurement of the services of such an officer. As part of the creation of Tusla, we have worked with the HSE on many of these services under a memorandum of understanding. To a large extent, our reliance on that has made it difficult to advance our Irish language services. We are reviewing our publications in line with our obligations under the Official Languages Act 2003. As I said, we are recruiting a dedicated additional Irish-language early years inspector. Staff information systems are in place to assist in responding to communications received through Irish. I have mentioned that we are undertaking a staff survey to establish the number of Irish speakers within our services. We are looking to identify additional spokespersons to speak in Irish on broadcast media. We already have a number of people who can perform this function for us. We are going to undertake an audit of Tusla's estate portfolio. We need to draft business cases around the extension of bilingual signs. Historically, the HSE has undertaken much of this work for us because many of our buildings are shared with that organisation. Tusla will take up much more of that work as it moves forward. We plan to promote Irish-language upskilling and training through our workforce learning and development programme.
In summary, since its establishment Tusla has focused on its core services, which involve the protection of vulnerable children and their families. It is only since 2016 that increased investment has allowed us to develop supports in other areas. This has enabled us to adhere to the highest administrative standards in compliance with our legislative requirements. As we move into the next stage of maturity and sustainability, there will be an increasing focus on developing and investing in the corporate spine of the agency, including increasing and improving the quantity and quality of services provided through Irish by Tusla.