Tusla update on services in Laois during Covid-19 Pandemic
Tusla has given an update on services available in Laois during the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic.
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, continues to provide key services across core areas that support children and families at risk during COVID-19 including:
* Child protection;
* Children in care, and;
* Domestic, sexual and gender based violence services, in conjunction with our partners and funded agencies.
In recent weeks, Tusla staff in the Laois Area have continued to provide essential frontline services that cannot be delivered remotely. While the majority of our workforce are working remotely, our five office bases in the Midlands, located in Portlaoise, Longford, Tullamore, Mullingar, and Athlone, remain open with staff available to respond to phone calls or in-person visits and queries.
Some of the local initiatives include:
- PPFS (Prevention, Partnership and Family Support) staff have sent small care and activity packages for local children by post – the packs included small gifts such as sweets, diaries, hairbands, and stress balls.
- PPFS staff are keeping in contact with young people they support by phone or using video communications. They are posting out work sheets and discussing the activities with young people, such as the Karen Triesman resources and ‘Helping Hands’ workbooks.
- PPFS Managers are representing Tusla on the Local CoCo Forums
- Laois Offaly CYPSC has also funded Laois Partnership to provide toys to children in direct provision centres in Laois.
- The Midlands Aftercare Team has sent out personal care packs to young people in aftercare and are very conscious about keeping in very regular contact with young people who may have a limited support network.
Speaking about Tusla’s response to Covid-19, Annette Maguire, Area Manager for the Midlands, Tusla said, “as an agency that works with children and families across the Midland Area, our staff have been working tirelessly to ensure the continuity of supports and services, while also balancing the needs and best interests of the child with public health advice to keep children, families and frontline staff as safe as possible during the pandemic
“In the Midlands Area, we have been working with local partners including the Gardai, HSE, County Councils, Local Child Care Committees, Schools, Family Resource Centres, Foroige, Extern, YAP, Barnardos, Domestic Violence Services and other community groups, to ensure that we are supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society at a time when they need it most.”
The social work teams are working exceptionally hard to ensure that all concerns and referrals received about the safety or welfare of a child are screened and assessed in line with Children First, and responded to in line with normal practice.
Anyone with a concern about a child’s safety or welfare should contact their local duty social work office. In Offaly, the number is: 057-8692567.