Findings of report into Child Protection and Welfare Services in Dublin ‘deeply worrying’ – Mitchell
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has said that the findings of a HIQA report published this morning into Tusla’s Child Protection and Welfare Services in Dublin South Central are “unacceptable and raise serious concerns”.
Speaking from Leinster House, Deputy Mitchell said:
“The findings of this HIQA report are a cause of deep concern, and demand urgent answers from Minister Zappone.
“I am particularly concerned by what the report suggests is ‘an underreporting of allegations of abuse from the child protection and welfare service to An Garda Síochána’. This is totally unacceptable. Serious questions need to be raised as to why a robust system for notifying An Garda Síochána of suspected abuse was not in place and why social workers failed to act appropriately in this regard.
“The report also raises further concerns around long waiting lists and continuous inaction when it came to responding to welfare concerns raised about children. We continue to see serious deficits when it comes to good record keeping and the completion of assessments in line with good practice. This is simply not good enough.
“Tusla deals with some of the most vulnerable children in our society and we want to be assured that children who are at risk are receiving the appropriate protection and support in a timely manner.
“It is evident from the report that some of the problems stem from the inability of Tusla to recruit and retain staff, in particular social workers. This is a major issue that has been repeatedly raised with the Minister yet there has been nothing done to address the staffing crisis in the sector.
“The Minister needs to get on top of this problem quickly because failure to do so is leaving vulnerable children at risk.”