Budget 2024 is an opportunity for Government to address immediate concerns revealed in latest HIQA reports into child protection services
Today (26.07.2023), the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published two inspection reports on services provided by the Child and Family Agency (Tusla): child protection and welfare service in the Dublin Southwest Kildare West Wicklow area and its Separated Children Seeking International Protection service.
Responding to the findings, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance stated:
“The two reports published today spotlight serious issues in our child protection system for some of the most vulnerable children in the State. The very children who should be receiving the highest quality of care, intervention and support services. The inspection of the Dublin Southwest service is particularly concerning, noting the chronic shortfall in resources and staff over a prolonged period of time has meant that the service is nowhere near where it needs to be to meet the demand in the area.”
The challenge to recruit people to work in this region, particularly with the cost of living means that there is simply not enough personnel to meet the demand. The staff that are in place have been firefighting to try support the children on their caseload. We need to ensure that Budget 2024 provides Tusla with the resources to deal with the demand surge post Covid-19 and to be able to adequately fund the community and voluntary sector organisations to support children in the area.”
“The Report today highlights serious delays faced by children and families for initial assessments to take place which has resulted in delayed notifications of on average four months to An Garda Síochána about suspected abuse or welfare concerns. There needs to be a greater degree of inter-agency and cross-departmental work to improve the provision of services and supports to these children and families. The Barnhaus Onehouse model piloted in Galway, is an example of how the provision of an integrated service is developed to respond to the specific support needs of some of the most vulnerable children. The project brings together multiple agencies – child protection, medical, therapeutic and policing – and facilitates a child-centred approach to care and support. We need to see a commitment from Government to expand the Barnhaus model nationally to areas with high levels of need, such as Dublin Southwest, in Budget 2024,” concluded Tanya Ward.
Emma Archbold, Campaigns and Communication Director, Children’s Rights Alliance: firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 997 1410
Notes to Editors:
- Children’s Rights Alliance spokespeople are available for comment.
- HIQA inspection reports are available here.
About the Children’s Rights Alliance:
Founded in 1995, the Children’s Rights Alliance unites over 140 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. Further information is available at: www.childrensrights.ie or on Twitter, @ChildRightsIRL