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Complete overhaul of child protection system needed following Shannon report – Adams

30 May, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called for a complete overhaul of the state’s child protection system and for the full implementation of the seventeen recommendations contained within Dr Geoffrey Shannon’s audit on Garda use of Section 12 of the Childcare Act 1991.

Deputy Adams also called for Minister Katherine Zappone to come before the Dáil to make a statement on the matter and for CEO of Tusla Fred McBride to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Children.

Addressing the Taoiseach directly at Leaders Questions, the Sinn Féin Leader said;

“The big failures in the system are the lack of capacity, the absence of an out of hours service and Tulsa’s reliance on private foster care services.

“Dr Shannon says that vulnerable children are getting ‘an inferior service’.

“He also says that ‘it is absolutely scandalous’ that some of these private services refuse to take children with challenging behaviour.

“I cannot think of a more telling indictment of the state’s child protection services than the charge that vulnerable children are getting an inferior service.

“The child protection system is broken. Your government needs to fix it.

“Dr Shannon’s 17 recommendations should be implemented in full.

“This should happen immediately.

“The CEO of Tusla Fred McBride should come before the Oireachtas Committee on Children & Youth Affairs.

“Minister Zappone should come before the Dáil as quickly as possible to give the government’s response to this damning report.”

In putting three direct questions to the Taoiseach, Deputy Adams outlined the steps that now need to be taken;

“Will you today commit to ensuring 24 hour access to social-workers throughout this state as an urgent priority?

“Will you now ensure that these cases are immediately followed up on to establish the current welfare of each child, including the children at the centre of the RTÉ Investigates programme?

“And will you initiate a whole government response to this scandal, including an audit like that carried out by Dr Shannon being conducted across the entire child protection system?” 

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