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Sinn Féin call for robust system of child protection

27 July, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in advance of the publication of the Government’s implementation plan for the recommendations of the Ryan Report, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Justice Aengus Ó Snodaigh said that the Minister for Children must take this opportunity to fix a child services system that is fundamentally broken.

Deputy O'Snodaigh said;

“There aren’t enough inspections of residential units and children are left for months on end without seeing a social worker. It is unacceptable that this is the situation and if left unchanged, it is not unreasonable to think that another Ryan style commission to inquire into child abuse will be needed in 20 or so years.

“There are currently no dedicated medical services for children who experience sexual abuse here. Where there are services that will cater for children they are under-resourced.

“In all actions concerning children by or on behalf of the State, the best interests of the Child should be the primary consideration. The State has a responsibility to protect children and clearly through its lack of service provision and resourcing of social services the best interests of the child is not a consideration. The HSE mantra of cost-cutting takes precedence above all else. This is unacceptable.

“Sinn Fein believes that the state should protect children and provide adequate support and assistance to parents and care givers so that children are enabled to thrive in a stable and safe environment where the child is valued and encouraged to attain their full potential.

“This Government should take the opportunity now and implement the recommendations of the Ryan Report and follow that with a drastic overhaul of child services in this state. We recognise the findings of the Commission to Inquire into child abuse and we believe that measures must be introduced as a matter of urgency in order to protect the next generation and future generations of children.” ENDS

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