Immediate Release: 17th October 2016

HIQA has raised serious concerns in an inspection report published today on the foster care service in the Midlands. The report identified that out of 26 standards, six standards were judged as at ‘significant risk’, 20 standards needed improvement, none of the 26 standards were fully complied with.

The report highlighted the lack of placements available for children in the area which resulted in crisis placements and with children being placed in out-of area placements. 8% of children had no allocated social worker and 45% of children did not have an up-to-date written care plan. Safeguarding visits to children had not taken place and there were long delays in assessments and making timely decisions from the Foster Care Committee. There were 23 unplanned endings in 2 years prior to the inspection.

Speaking following publication of report, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan made the following statement:

“The findings from this report are extremely worrying. The report highlights the lack of suitable placements available for children in this area which is causing serious multiple effects. The impact for the children involved, as a result of out-of-area  placements means lesser contact with their families. The findings also highlight the impact of placement moves on children’s education and school attendance.

            It is clear from this report that there needs to be an effective campaign to recruit more foster carers in this area. Every child in care should have an allocated Social Worker, care plan/aftercare plan. It is also clear that timeframes for completion of foster care assessments are required to protect and promote each child’s welfare and stability.  

            Evidence has highlighted the impact of multiple placement moves on children who need stability in their lives. From EPIC’s direct work with children and young people  through our National Advocacy Service and Participation project, stability, access to family and having a Social Worker are all vital factors to ensure young people are safe, happy, feel listened to and have better future outcomes.”       

Notes to the Editor

  1. The full HIQA report on the Midlands Fostering Care Service is available to read here


For all media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jennifer Gargan, Director of EPIC                    

Telephone: 01 8727 661 Mobile: 086 607 3866

Email:  Website:

EPIC (formerly IAYPIC) is an independent association that works throughout the Republic of Ireland, with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have had an experience of living in care.

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