State agencies criticised over lack of support for Down syndrome woman in foster care

The Ombudsman for Children has blamed a lack of coordination between Tusla and the HSE

State agencies criticised over lack of support for Down syndrome woman in foster care

File photo: The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, 23-05-2017. Image: RollingNews

The Ombudsman for Children has found that the State failed to provide adequate supports to a woman who has been fostering a teenager with Down Syndrome and severe autism.

The finding is in a report penned by Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon which is due for publication later this morning.

The report centres on the Molly case.

Molly, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, has been in foster care since she was abandoned at birth.

Dr Muldoon has been examining the case since the woman who has been fostering Molly complained that she could not get adequate support from state agencies.

In his findings, he said a lack of coordination between Tusla and the HSE meant that the services and supports provided to the woman were insufficient.

He said a respite action plan should be available for all children in care to stop similar problems in the future.

Tusla has committed to undertaking a systemic review of the supports and services being offered to children in their care with a moderate to severe disability in the wake of the report.

The HSE meanwhile has committed to including vulnerable children in State care in their ongoing performance indicator reviews.