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Minister must swiftly implement Children’s Ombudsman’s report on HSE failure in child abuse case

1 October, 2013 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on children, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has called on Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, to act swiftly to implement the recommendations of the Ombudsman for Children who has found that, among other serious failures, the Health Service Executive took two months to arrange a specialist medical examination for an 11-year-old girl who claimed she was violently raped on several occasions.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“This is an extremely damning report for the HSE and comes at a time when there is heightened public consciousness of the danger to children and the need for maximum support for them from our health and social services.
“The Ombudsman for Children has found that in the case of an 11-year old girl who reported that she was violently raped on several occasions, the HSE’s actions adversely affected the child by contributing to existing confusion and delay surrounding the process which followed, contributing to circumstances where the child today does not trust the HSE to consider her interests and views, failing to consider her best interests as a primary factor when communicating with her, and not gaining her understanding or views on any of the matters concerning her.
“It is essential that Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald ensures that all the recommendations in this report are swiftly implemented, including the appointment of a social worker to all such complex cases. While the case dates back to 2006/2007 and the HSE states that it is implementing the recommendations, we need assurances from the Minister that this is indeed being done and, crucially, we need to see the resources put in place to ensure that children are fully supported.” ENDS

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