Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Public Accounts Committee
2020 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency - Financial Statements 2020
I am conscious of time. Mr. Gloster has brought me to the point I was going to follow on to with Ms Duggan, which is the idea of multidisciplinary teams. While there are recruitment issues, I would come back to the issue of the senior social workers, and the report talks about 15 senior social workers in that area. I do not expect the witnesses to give me a commitment today but it might be something they consider and I will come back to them on this.
On the issue of diversifying, I would make two comments. Youth workers, in particular those involved in school completion programmes, the family support agencies and family support centres, are a huge asset and should form part of that. I was at an amazing event yesterday for Valerie O’Carroll, the manager of the Ballymun Family Resource Centre who retired yesterday, a woman with a tireless commitment to Ballymun and a tireless commitment to social justice. We hope her replacement will be just as good. Having those people on the ground supports the social workers who are in place. Sometimes, people in the school completion programmes and the family support centres feel like the Cinderella of Tusla and they do not feel they get the priority and resources they deserve.