Immediate Release: 13th April 2016
Last night RTE’s Prime Time programme highlighted the case of a child who remained in the same Foster Care placement in circumstances where there were child protection allegations. This raises serious concerns of how the State responds when allegations about a child’s safety are made.
Speaking following the documentary, Director of EPIC, Jennifer Gargan made the following statement:
“The primary duty of Tusla and the State is to ensure for the care and protection of every child. There needs to be a fail-safe process in place to ensure every child is protected.
From our work with young people, EPIC understands the need for children to have the confidence to speak out. Therefore, every child at risk must have an allocated Social Worker. Furthermore, every child should have a meaningful relationship with their Social Worker in order to ensure that no child is afraid, or has no one to speak out to.”
EPIC calls on the following:
- An Independent Inquiry in relation to this case and other recent similar cases.
- Continous monitoring and assessment of all foster carers. Every foster carer should have an allocated link worker.
- Adequate resourcing of HIQA (Health Information & Quality Authority) to provide foster care inspections.
- Need for greater awareness of Children First by the general public in order to ensure that all children are kept safe and protected.
Notes to the Editor
- This is the second case that has been highlighted this year following a young woman in the South being left in an unsafe foster care home in the South, see EPIC’s previous Press Release https://www.epiconline.ie/every-child-in-care-must-be-safe-and-protected/
- According to figures provided by Tusla, there are currently 82% (2,421) of general foster carers approved. There were 380 unapproved relative foster carers at the end of Q4 2015. For more information see section 6 of Tusla’s ‘Integrated Performance and Activity Report’, Quarter 4, 2015 http://www.tusla.ie/uploads/content/Q4_2015_Integrated_Performance_and_Activity_Report_Final.pdf
- There are currently 450 children without a Social Worker and 620 children without a Care Plan according to latest figures from Tusla http://www.tusla.ie/data-figures
For all media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact:
Jennifer Gargan, Director of EPIC
Telephone: 01 8727 661 Mobile: 086 607 3866
EPIC (formerly IAYPIC) is an independent association that works throughout the Republic of Ireland, with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have had an experience of living in care.