Ombudsman calls on Govt to stop placing children in 'inappropriate' care facilities

The Ombudsman for Children is calling for urgent improvements in accommodation for children and young people in the care of the State.

Ombudsman calls on Govt to stop placing children in 'inappropriate' care facilities

The Ombudsman for Children is calling for urgent improvements in accommodation for children and young people in the care of the State.

Dr Niall Muldoon says in particular there should be changes in the care of those with mental health issues.

His office has dealt with a number of complaints where children are being placed in "inappropriate" care facilities.

These include being accommodated in adult psychiatric wards or paediatric wards, where no mental health support is available, often due to a lack of sufficient beds in the appropriate adolescent psychiatric wards.

The Ombudsman for Children also highlighted that the two areas where he initially focused on, in relation to the care of children in inappropriate settings, was children within Direct Provision and 17 year olds within the Prison system.

He said that despite the political will to change it, the problems continue.

Dr Muldoon said: "I urge this present Government to commit to moving the required legislation before the next election, so that all 17 year olds will move out of Wheatfield and St. Patrick’s Prisons immediately, and to accept the recommendations of the Working Group in relation to Direct Provision and allow oversight of the system by my Office."

Overall there has been a 9% increase in complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman for Children since 2012.

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