Tusla - the Child and Family Agency
What is Tusla?
Tusla - the Child and Family Agency - is a statutory organisation, established in January 2014 under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013. Under Section 8 of the Act, it is required to:
- Support and promote the development, welfare and protection of children, and
- Support and encourage the effective functioning of families
It also provides information and advice to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on issues relating to its different areas of responsibility.
What does Tusla do?
Tusla has responsibility for the following services:
- Child welfare and protection services
- Educational welfare services (Tusla Education Support Service - TESS)
- Alternative care
- Early years services
- Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services
- Psychological welfare services for children
- Family and local community-based supports
Child welfare and protection services
Tusla has responsibility to promote the safety and well-being of children. It should always be informed when a person has reasonable grounds for concern that a child is, or may have been, at risk of being abused or neglected. Any concern about a potential risk to children posed by a specific person, even if the children are unidentifiable, should also be reported.
Educational Welfare Service - Tusla Education Support Service (TESS)
TESS has 3 strands that work together with schools, families and other services to achieve the best educational outcomes for children and young people.
- Educational Welfare Services (EWS) work with children and families who have difficulties in relation to school attendance, participation and retention.
- The School Completion Programme (SCP) supports primary and secondary school children and young people who are at risk of early school leaving, or who are out of school and have not successfully transferred to an alternative learning site such as Youthreach, Community Training Centre or employment.
- The Home School Community Liaison Scheme (HSCL) promotes partnership between parents, teachers and community family support services to improve educational outcomes for children. The scheme also supports families as their children transition from early education to primary school, from primary school to secondary school and finally from secondary school to further and higher education, training or employment.
Tusla has a statutory responsibility to provide Alternative Care Services such as foster care or residential care. It also has a responsibility to provide Aftercare services for young people that are between 16 and 21 years of age and have spent 12 months in the care of the state between the ages 13 and 18. Aftercare services continue to be available for young people up to age 23 in accredited training or education.
Tusla also provides services for children who are homeless or who are separated from their families when seeking asylum. Tusla also has responsibilities with regards to adoption.
Early years services
Tusla is responsible for inspecting pre-schools, play groups, day nursery, crèches, day-care and similar services for children aged 0 to 6 years.
All Tusla registered early years services are inspected. You can ask for a copy of the latest Tusla inspection report from the service, or you can find Tusla inspection reports published online.
Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services
Tusla's Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Services programme funds specialist support services for victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence throughout Ireland. These include refuges and safe home services providing safe emergency accommodation, community-based domestic violence services, and rape crisis/sexual violence services.
Psychological welfare services for children
Tusla funds a range of national, regional and local organisations offering counselling, psychotherapy and other support services.
Family and local community-based supports
Tusla provides a range of services that offer advice and support to families. This includes family support workers, social workers, youth workers, family resource centres, support groups and counselling services.
For more information on Tusla and the different services it provides, go to tusla.ie.