“Revolving door” of temp social workers at Tusla failing children

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Children who need the help and support of Tusla are ultimately losing out under a “revolving door” of temporary social workers, says Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte.

Figures shown to the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children show the number of agency staff hired as social workers at Tusla has increased by 125 percent from 2016 to 2019.

In the same period the number of directly employed social workers has only seem a marginal increase of 3.9 percent.

“I am concerned that Tusla has continued to grow its social worker staffing levels primarily via agency hires,” Anne Rabbitte said.

“There is not the same permanency provided by an agency social worker to a child which is important in their care and support.”

Even the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has noticed that there is a severe retention crisis among Tusla staff Deputy Rabbitte insisted.

The last spending review carried out by the department noted an “increasing dependence” on agency staff to fill its ranks.

“Ultimately it is the child that loses out on the benefit of a long-term social worker. Why can’t Tusla retain the staff, yet external agencies can?”

“Minister Zappone needs to get a hold of this reliance on agency staff. It is a short-term solution which will have long term damage to the agency and children,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.