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HSE heads must roll after devastating report on foster care – Ó Caoláin

14 July, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD


Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as “devastating” the HIQA report on the quality, safety and management of HSE foster care services in Dublin. He said that unless there were sanctions against the senior management personnel responsible for the massive failures exposed in the report then the way is open for their replication. He said:

“”Devastating is the only way to describe the findings of the HIQA report on HSE foster care services in Dublin.

“The most damning finding is that the problems have been known for years but were not addressed and thus expose ‘serious deficiencies in the effectiveness, accountability, governance and management of these services, and the lack of emphasis on a child-centred culture at all levels of the HSE, but more significantly at senior management level’.

“Given such a finding how can those in senior management positions in the relevant areas be allowed to continue as if nothing has happened?

“Heads must roll because if there are no sanctions against the senior management personnel responsible for the massive failures exposed in the HIQA report then the way is open for their replication.

“The HSE has been found deficient in its vetting, assessment and approval of foster carers, particularly relative carers. HIQA has also raised serious concerns about child protection practices.

“The fact that these findings are made about two Dublin areas but that a third area was found to be mostly safe and well organised surely emphasises the need for management in the culpable areas to be held accountable.

“The HIQA report raises wider questions about the ability of the HSE to fulfil its child protection responsibilities and exposes the failure of Government in both child protection strategy and provision of resources. The HIQA recommendations must be implemented in full and the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney and Minister for State for Children Barry Andrews must issue a comprehensive response.

“The report surely makes more urgent the need for greater constitutional protection for children and a referendum to that effect this year.”

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