Home > Tusla priorities for 2016.

Pike, Brigid (2016) Tusla priorities for 2016. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 57, Spring 2016, pp. 28-29.

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On 10 December 2015 Gordon Jeyes, the Chief Executive of TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency, appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children to give an update on TUSLA’s activities in 2015 and its priorities for 2016 (Table 1).1 The update reported progress in implementing TUSLA’s first corporate plan, which was launched in February 2015.2

Output targets, 2017

Progress in 2015

Priorities in 2016

A. Tusla’s child protection processes and systems are responding to children at risk in a timely fashion

  • Child Protection Notification System (CPNS) available to external services
  • National Out-of-Hours Service is operational
  • Integrated performance reports being published quarterly on web site
  • Early-warning Need-to-Know system refined and agreed with Department of Children & Youth Affairs

  • Ahead of commencement and implementation of revised Children First guidelines, a National Implementation Team will be ensuring readiness for mandated reporting systems and responses, by preparing information and guidance for those carrying out this work, training and e-learning, and a full range of information and advice.
  • Revision of national after-care policy and preparation of new statutory provisions to ensure all eligible young people have a statutory right to an aftercare plan.
  • Ahead of Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill, three working groups will ensure full public awareness, assessment of compelling reasons and establishment of adoption information register.
  • A plan will be developed to tackle resource deficits, e.g. unallocated cases, and time lags between referrals and assessments.
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS) will be rolled out.
  • Quality Assurance directorate will ensure full implementation of Tell Us at Tusla and the NIMS complaints module.


 B. All services, processes and systems underpinning children and family policy are evidence-informed.

  • National Policy catalogue developed and accessible by all Tusla staff
  • Draft Quality Assurance Framework developed
  • Research strategy approved and national operating model agreed


  • Policy development will become standardised through establishment of National Policy Oversight Group.
  • Child Protection and Welfare Handbook will be reviewed.
  • Family Support Services will be further developed through recruitment, training and implementation of an audit tool for family support.
  • A Research Ethics Committee will be established and a research needs analysis completed.
  • Draft Quality Assurance Framework will be piloted in Q1.

C. Provision of a targeted range of family-orientated supports

  • Resourcing framework for supporting parents agreed, co-ordinators in place and support materials launched
  • Alternative care strategy is being refined
  • Shifting from a grants system into a commissioning strategy
  • System in place for national oversight of all services relating to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGV)
  • Family Resource Centres now a recognised participant in service delivery framework
  • Through Children and Young People Services Committee, local needs and priorities will inform the allocation of funding.
  • Children in Care multi-disciplinary teams will be expanded to provide for four regional teams with enhanced capacity to support children in care with challenging behaviour.
  • An Alternative Care Strategy will be developed, including new metrics, and a Children in Care to Adoption Handbook will be developed.
  • A Commissioning Support Unit and annual commissioning cycle will be developed.
  • DSGV services – governance and oversight with standard reporting framework for services will be implemented, and information capability to support delivery of services will be developed.

D. Attendance, participation and retention in full-time education is embedded in service delivery.

  • Integrated service management structure approved and national lead managers being appointed
  • School Completion Programme (SCP) reviewed
  • Early-years inspection registration managers are in place and national governance structure established 
  • The community strengths of the SCP will be built on, and an integrated approach to educational welfare, home school liaison and school completion will be pursued.
  • Early Years Inspectorate will develop and implement new processes and systems in respect of new regulations.
  • A Central Registration Office will be established and an ICT system developed to support intelligence-driven inspections.
  • A review of Section 14 assessments for those educated at places other than school will be completed.
  • Participation and achievement in education of all children in care will be the focus of specific monitoring.

1 Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children (2015, 10 December) Update on Child and Family Services: Tusla. Retrieved 27 January 2016 http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20authoring/debateswebpack.nsf/committeetakes/HEJ2015121000002?opendocument#C00100

2 Tusla – Child and Family Agency (2014) Corporate plan 2015 –2017 Dublin: Tusla. https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/23497/    See also B Pike (2015) Tusla publishes first corporate plan Drugnet Ireland (54): 22–23 https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/24236/

3 Jeyes G (2015, 10 December) Opening statement to Joint Committee on Health and Children. Retrieved 27 January 2016 http://www.tusla.ie/news/opening-statement-to-joint-committee-on-health-and-children 

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
Issue Title
Issue 57, Spring 2016
May 2016
Page Range
pp. 28-29
Health Research Board
Issue 57, Spring 2016

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