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Concern expressed regarding failures at Residential Centre at Clonmel – Ó Laoghaire

29 November, 2016 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has responded with concern to a report published today regarding a HIQA report in to a residential centre at Clonmel.

Speaking today at Leinster House, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children said that it was particularly alarming that the report in to the Ferryhouse centre appears to highlight system that Children have been harmed or there is a high possibility they will be harmed due to systems there.

The Cork South-Central TD said:

“Significant risks were identified in four areas examined during the unannounced HIQA visit. A significant risk is defined as where children have been harmed or there is a high possibility that they will experience harm due to poor practice or weak systems. Therefore, this is an issue of the highest seriousness.

“The report highlights some very significant and worrying deficiencies existing within the centre at Clonmel.

“The report stated that, where children were in crisis, the response from the campus to the crisis was reactionary and there was little evidence of a planned, timely, and coordinated response to the crisis.

“In addition, the fact that recommendations from Social Workers were given to the campus management but not incorporated in children plans in the centre.

“Of particular concern, there were 277 incidents of children being absent from the centre in the 12 months prior to the inspection, marking a significant increase since the HIQA inspection in July 2015 which found 10 incidents of children being absent.

“These were only some of the significant child protection issues highlighted by the report which need to be dealt with.

“I understand that TÚSLA has accepted this report, and is taking steps to address these issues. HIQA has produced a set of recommendations and I hope this will be followed, and will be implemented as a matter of urgency

“The Minister for Children Katherine Zappone may also consider commissioning a more extensive review of practices in the sector as a whole.

“Similar centres may well have higher standards than in this instance, but this must be closely monitored to ensure practices are not replicated.” 

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