Daniel McAnaspie: Repeatedly failed

Daniel McAnaspie was failed repeatedly through a lack of support services.

The 17-year-old’s body was found in a ditch in Rathfeigh, Co Meath, in May 2010 three months after he disappeared from his temporary home in Blanchardstown. Two men were charged with his murder in Dec 2011.

The ICDRG documented 17 examples of poor care in his case and it has recommended a full review of the care provided to Daniel should be carried out.

It found there was a lack of evidence that he had been professionally supervised, while it was unclear if the services offered to him and his family matched their needs.

Management only appeared to become involved in his case whenever he went missing, while resources sought by a social worker and his guardian were not provided.

There was also a failure to notice or act on his non-attendance at school.

There were a large number of social workers involved in his case as well as periods when there were none.

The report said there was no adequate risk assessment or assessment of his mental health.

The group said the decision whereby Daniel and his family were moved to accommodation which they shared with another family when he was aged nine was unusual and problematic. It also said the placement by the HSE of Daniel with a private, unregistered accommodation provider when he was 16 needed to be queried as well as the provider’s decision to terminate his accommodation without prior notification to the HSE.

The report observed that Daniel had experienced significant bereavement and loss during his childhood including the death of his father from a drug overdose when he was four and the death of his mother when 15.

It noted he suffered from severe dyslexia which appeared to have gone undiagnosed until he was 15.

Daniel had 21 placements between the ages of 10 and 17, including 16 in the last year of his life. An application by the HSE to have him placed in a special care facility was refused and the recommendation of his guardian to have him placed abroad was not agreed to.

The report found a placement with his extended family was not properly supported with services actually withdrawn which led to the breakdown of the arrangement. The group branded this failure “a significant shortcoming” in the care provided to Daniel and his family.

They praised the involvement between the teenager and his juvenile liaison officer as well as Daniel’s guardian for the concern shown in trying to get him appropriate services.

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