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Disastrous handling of Galway foster home case left vulnerable children at risk – Mitchell

23 May, 2019 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has described as “shocking and deeply disturbing” media reports of the findings of a National Review Panel investigation into the HSE and Tusla’s handling of a case of abuse at a foster home in Galway.

Reacting to the media reports, Deputy Mitchell said:

“We obviously have not seen this report. However, the reported findings of a catalogue of failures, which saw three children suffer grave and heinous sexual abuse – are deeply disturbing and shocking.

“There appears to have been a total and complete failure within the HSE and Tusla. Despite a statutory requirement, there appears to have been no review of the foster care setting after credible disclosures of abuse were made.

“The fact that children were permitted to remain at that home is simply outrageous. Immediately, a full risk assessment should have been carried out and any foster children present at that home should have been removed.

“The State is tasked with putting the welfare of children first. There appears to have been a complete and total failure in oversight and management within state agencies of these young, vulnerable children.  

“From the media reports, it appears that yet again a lack of social workers has contributed to the failures in this case. This is an ongoing issue of which there has been no progress in the last number of years.

“We need to see the publication of this report in full. Serious questions also need to be asked as to whether those who failed to act, despite such overwhelming evidence, are still in positions tasked with the safeguarding of children.” 

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