System failed and failed again to protect vulnerable from abuse – McDonald
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald has condemned recent revelations, that following the removal of a young woman from the foster home where she was abused, another young adult remained in the same foster home setting.
Deputy McDonald said:
“We have heard recent reports of the horrific abuse which had a devastating impact on this woman and others. We know that the system failed. The HSE ducked and dived on this issue. It was brought before the PAC and misled the committee in terms of the apologies it had said were given.
“News that another vulnerable young adult was allowed reside in this foster home is horrific and deeply alarming. It raises questions around the ability of the state to protect vulnerable people. It also raises very serious questions around the culture within the HSE and how it operates.
“Everybody who works in childcare and child protection right across the sector have been screaming at the fact that there is a shortage of social workers. There is an absolute crisis in terms of provision of supporting services, not least out of hours for at risk or vulnerable citizens.
“We are having an emergency meeting of the Public Accounts Committee at tomorrow at 12 even though the Dáil is coming to its end, due to the seriousness of these issues. We’ve made contact with the Minister for Health, because it is absolutely essential that he is fully aware of the behaviour of the HSE and the gravity of what has come to light.
“The HSE have promised to issue an apology today, but it’s a case of too little and too late. The fact that vulnerable people have been left without protection in settings which are known to be dangerous is appalling. Both the HSE and the Minister for Health have a lot to account for.”