Ombudsman concerned over supports for children in foster care

Colm Keena - The Irish Times

According to this article from the Irish Times, "the standard of support being provided to hundreds of children in foster care who have moderate to severe disabilities continues to be a cause of concern, the Ombudsman for Children has said." Dr Niall Muldoon, the Ombudsman for Children, spoke recently about an individual case of a girl named Molly, "a teenager in care with Down syndrome and severe autism whose foster mother was financially, emotionally and physically drained from having to look after her." Molly's case highlights the lack of coordination between Tusla (the child and family agency) and the HSE. "While Tusla operated a standardised approach to children in foster care, regardless of whether they had a disability, the HSE operated a standardised approach to children with a disability, regardless of whether they were in care." Muldoon stated that Molly's case had improved over the last year but that the working relationship between Tusla and the HSE is still a matter of concern and promised to "monitor these issues for the next 12 months, engaging with both the HSE and Tusla.”