When the special rapporteur on child protection Conor O’Mahony pointed out that the children’s amendment to the Constitution in 2015 was “an opportunity lost” and a “timid version of reform” he, probably unintentionally, pointed to a persistent cultural failing that engenders cynicism.
A report into the deaths of children either in care or known to the care services has referred to social work departments being under serious pressure with high referral rates and experiencing staff shortages that “inevitably impacted on their ability to provide a good quality service”.
Children's rights groups have expressed concern over the finding in an inspection report that children in a residential special care centre were pepper-sprayed and handcuffed when gardai responded to staff calls for assistance.
The launch, this afternoon, of Barnardos Ireland's 2017 annual report marked the last address byas the charity's CEO. Read a partially edited transcript of his moving and thought provoking final address below.
Occupational therapists have criticised changes to an assessment of need for children under disability legislation, just as a High Court judgement will compel the HSE to deliver outstanding assessments within six weeks for two families who challenged the former system.
Tusla’s new National Child Care Information System has been many years in the making, but as the Child and Family Agency prepare to finally roll it out across the country, those behind it have given it a ringing endorsement.
“There was one night that stands out when [children from X] were murdered […] I didn’t think my legs would take me up the stairs to look at the waiting list to see if they were on our waiting list. And I think that that kind of anxiety nobody should have to live with.”
The Government is to review all emergency out-of-hours services for children amid persistent fears that large swathes of the country don’t have the supports to protect minors from “barbaric treatment” in the home.
Away from the harrowing personal stories, the audit shows the reasons why many children are removed from their home - the dangers posed to their health and wellbeing either because of their own behaviour or, more likely, those around them.
The Shannon audit found no evidence that Section 12 is being used in an over-zealous manner by An Garda Síochána, and that the fall-out from the 2013 Athlone and Dublin Roma cases meant some gardaí were more anxious about using it.
According to Barnardos there are more than 10,000 children on HSE waiting lists for an initial speech and language assessment. It would cost a measly €268m over five years to hire the professionals to fix these waiting lists, writes