Child protection failings: Moral cowardice

Reports that the Health Information and Quality Authority has found that 177 cases of retrospective referrals of child abuse remained unallocated to social workers last August in Tusla’s Dublin South-East and Wicklow area is another indication of the great cultural change needed around these issues.

Child protection failings: Moral cowardice

The report relates to an announced inspection of the fourth largest service area in the State’s Child and Family Agency and it recorded that staff said addressing these cases was complex but that they had not received any training to allow them work in that particular field.

The report came as the family of a young woman who was allegedly raped and assaulted as a child in the foster home said they hoped health staff involved would lose their jobs and face criminal charges for failing to protect her.

It is impossible to disagree with that position. These cases are being described as a failure of administration, of bureaucracy and systems. They are not. They are a consequence of our failure to insist that wrongdoing will not be tolerated and our cowardice in the face of such immoral neglect.

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