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Independent Child Death Review Group report ‘deeply shocking’ – Adams

20 June, 2012 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has described today’s report of the Independent Child Death Review Group as ‘deeply shocking’.

Teachta Adams said:

“The conclusions of this report are a serious indictment of the child protection systems in this state. It is clear that the state abdicated its duty in respect of some young people and failed to provide the adequate child protection support that should be expected of a modern state in the 21st century.”

The Louth TD called on the government to implement the recommendations of the report and to ensure that the new Child and Family Support Agency that takes effect next year has the “necessary financial and personnel resources to deal with this very important issue.”

Deputy Adams questioned the Taoiseach on the conclusions of the Independent Child Death Review Group report during Leaders Questions in the Dáil this morning.

Teachta Adams said:

“It is deeply shocking that at the height of the Celtic Tiger 196 young people died while in the care of the state or in contact with child protection services.

“Of these 112 deaths were due to non-natural causes such as drug overdoses, suicides, unlawful killings or road traffic accidents. Thirty-six children died in the care system and of these 17 were from non-natural causes. And of the 32 young people who died in the aftercare system 27 were from non-natural causes. This is unacceptable.

“In the course of its investigation the review group also found that some files relating to young people were in disarray or non-existent and had no record of what happened to the young people, including a record of a death.

“The review group uncovered the fact that no aftercare was provided in some cases to young people who left the care of the HSE .

“The report also finds that too often there was a sporadic approach to dealing with young people at risk and that earlier and more consistent intervention could have helped these young people to overcome their vulnerabilities.

“In other words lives could have been saved but these young people and their families were failed by the state.

“This is a long way from cherishing the children of the nation equally.

“While Sinn Féin has welcomed the appointment of a full cabinet Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the publication of the Children’s First Bill, it is clear from this report that much more needs to be done.

“The deaths of these young people are an indictment of the refusal to invest during the boom years in adequate public services, and especially in child protection services.

“There is an onus on the government to ensure that the inadequacies identified in this report, in relation to the systems of care for vulnerable children and young people, are rectified.

“It also has a duty of care to our young people to implement the recommendations emerging from the report of the Independent Child Death Review Group. That means it has to provide the necessary resources in terms of personnel, social workers or other resources to guarantee that there is no reoccurrence of this appalling litany of death and shame.”


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