A follow-up inspection by HIQA into the standard of foster care services in the Cork area has found that there remains serious concerns about the risks to children placed in its care.

It followed an investigation by the Health Information and Quality Authority last February, which identified a number of serious risks and major areas of non-compliance within the Cork Foster Care Service provided by Tusla. 

These included a lack of garda vetting of relatives and foster carers, as well as a failure to allocate social workers to children at risk.

The follow-up report found that despite assurances given by Tusla last February, the Cork Foster Care Service remains in major non-compliance and continues to pose a risk to children placed with it.

It identified a number of areas of serious concern, including that 27 relative carers still have not been vetted by gardaí and that 82 foster carers still do not have up-to-date vetting.

It also found that significant delays remain in assessing relative carers with whom children are placed.

HIQA also found that despite assurances provided in February, some 42 relative carers remain without an allocated link social worker.

In response, Tusla said it is actively working to implement as a priority a comprehensive action plan submitted to HIQA following its initial inspection last February.

Tusla's Service Director in the South Dermot Halpin said work like this takes time, but Tusla is committed to implementing the required actions as promptly as possible to improve the service.

HIQA said it will be seeking a further update from the local area manager next month.