Túsla Child Protection & Welfare Strategy ‘a welcome move’ – Ó Laoghaire
Túsla Child Protection & Welfare Strategy ‘a welcome move’ – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has this afternoon welcomed the launch of Túsla’s 5 year Child Protection & Welfare Strategy.
The Strategy, which was launched this morning, outlines Túsla and Minister Katherine Zappone's vision for the years 2017-2022 and is to be welcomed.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;
“This morning’s launch outlines a vision for the direction of Túsla between now and the year 2022. It is a step forward, and a vision that I welcome. It is a welcome sign of ambition.
“Child protection services in this state have historically been weak. In its five years, significant issues have been raised in relation to Túsla, in relation to its resources and staffing, and in relation to systematic failures and procedures not being fit for purpose.
“In that context, I do welcome that Minister Zappone and Túsla CEO Fred McBride have taken what I believe to be a proactive approach to change the culture within Child Protection & Welfare services.
“I look forward to examining the policy in detail, as it appears to signal a change in tone and attitude, and encompasses a more child friendly approach. Institutional care should only be an option when all other avenues have been exhausted or are deemed not to be within the best interest of the child in question.
“Last week at Leaders Questions, I raised the issue of the retention of Social Workers directly with An Taoiseach; I am glad to see the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and Mr McBride’s comments reflect a genuine sense of urgency in resolving this. However, this must be followed up by action, we need to see increased efforts at recruitment and retention.
“I also welcome that the Minister has given the commitment that all sections of Children First will be implemented in full by the end of this year.
"It is essential now that resources follow this and that this strategy is capable of being implemented. This cannot be simply an aspirational document; it must signal a change in peoples experiences of Túsla's services."