A total of 22 children and young people in care or known to the child protection system, died in 2017, the panel tasked with charting such deaths has said.
The annual report from the National Review Panel* (NRP) states the figure was some 4% less than in 2016.
NRP chair Dr Helen Buckley said: "I’d like to extend my sympathy to the families and anyone affected by the tragic deaths of these children and young people.” She added that while the report showed "some very good practice once services became involved...some social work departments were under serious pressure with high referral rates and staff shortages that inevitably impacted on their ability to provide a good quality service.”
Brian Lee, Director of Quality Assurance, Tusla said: “The National Review Panel’s Annual Report 2017 highlights a decrease in the number of child deaths relating to children known to child protection services or in care (4% less than 2016).”
Mr Lee continued: “The death of each child or young person, as detailed in these reports is a tragedy and I extend my sympathy to anyone affected by these very sad deaths. The reports published alongside the Annual Report showed areas of very strong practice including supportive, consistent and child centred support, good interagency working relationships, efforts made by all professionals to develop positive working relationships, and a consistent thread of oversight.
"Reports provided by the NRP are very useful to the Agency as they highlight areas for key learning and improvements as we endeavour to continuously improve services for the children and families we work with.”
Of the deaths notified in 2017:
In notes on the care status of the children, the report states:
* The NRP conducts reviews of instances where children in care, in aftercare or known to child protection services die or experience serious incidents. The panel consists of independent professionals from a range of disciplines who are engaged for their professional expertise.
- Digital desk