As part of Tusla’s on-going Transformation Programme, where the delivery and implementation of Signs of Safety as the National Approach to Practice, provides a key driver for change, it is with great pleasure that the first Tusla Parent Survey Overview Report has been published. The implementation of the Child Protection and Welfare Strategy 2017-2022 is underway.
The strategy sets out to transform Ireland’s child protection and welfare services. The Signs of Safety model is being implemented as our national approach to practice. The Signs of Safety reflects our best practice principles, which are fundamentally underpinned by the principles of ‘Children First’. Children and families will be at the centre of assessment and decision making and the approach will be strengths-based, evidence-based and outcome focused. Seeking feedback, and acting on that feedback, is a key corporate objective for the Agency. We have invested significantly in the development of a number of programmes, strategies and initiatives that facilitate the voice of service users to inform our policies and practices.
As part of the PPFS Programme, for example, we have invested in a Parental Participation Programme that provides for a range of collaborative initiatives to involve parents in partnerships, programmes and family support. This Programme’s work continues to be
embedded into the operations of the Agency and further investment in a Service User Feedback team in our QA Directorate continues to demonstrate the Agency’s values in this regard.
In our Child Protection and Welfare operational environment, we also endeavor to hear the voice of parents and guardians, as well as children and young people, in our work. This parent survey is the first time the Agency has taken a formalised research approach to
ascertain the views of parents and guardians in receipt of child protection and welfare services. The survey considers the relationships between parents and social workers and invites parents to comment on what they would like to change about working with social workers. This survey is one component of an action research project, led by Tusla’s National Research Office in support of hearing from children, parents and staff about the implementation of the Child Protection and Welfare Strategy and the Signs of Safety National Practice approach.
While the numbers of parents and guardians who responded to the survey are small, I am grateful to those participants who responded, as their feedback is invaluable as we continue to embed the Child Protection and Welfare Strategy. There are many findings from the study to consider, and I am encouraged to see that our social work staff are considered to be a
positive resource in the lives of parents and children who need our services but that there are also issues to consider to strengthen trust and relationship-based practices with parents and guardians.
This report will be considered across the Agency, and the key messages will be disseminated across our workforce. I would like to thank our social work staff for assisting in the administration of this survey and to all other staff who conducted the survey over the phone. I would also like to thank Professor Eileen Munro for providing her expertise in preparing for this survey and for producing this report.
Mr Jim Gibson, Chief Operations Officer, Tusla
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