FG calls for national audit of foster care

Deputy Charlie Flanagan

Fine Gael has called on Health Minister Mary Harney to conduct an urgent national audit of foster care services through HIQA, following reports of yet another scandal.

The party's Children’s Spokesman Charlie Flanagan made the call following allegations that vulnerable children in the south east could be placed with carers who have not been adequately screened.

"This is the latest disturbing account on foster care, following a report earlier this year on services in Dublin which had similar findings," Deputy Flanagan said in a statement.

“This is just the latest example of HSE negligence in foster care.

"Advocacy groups estimate that up to 800 children nationwide have been handed over to carers who have not been adequately screened. HIQA has already expressed worries about the placement of foster children with carers who have not been assessed, as well as concerns over missing files.

“We need a full nationwide audit of HSE foster care," Deputy Flanagan added.

"This should be conducted by HIQA and handed over to the Minister for Health and published as a matter of urgency."

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