Contact: Caroline Reid, Communications Manager | carolinereid@epiconline.ie | 087 216 2496

Media Statement

28 February 2024

EPIC, Empowering People in Care, call for establishment of emergency, inter-departmental committee to address crisis in care system

Speaking in response to news that broke today in the Irish Times, Care home used by Tusla ‘fabricated’ pre-employment checks of staff, posing major risk to young people in its care, EPIC, Empowering People in Care, CEO, Marissa Ryan said:

“Though private providers of Special Emergency Arrangements are not held accountable to the regulatory standards that other care providers are, the law is clear in regard to the safeguarding of children and the vetting of adults who work with them.”

“Due to the ongoing placement crisis, it is a stark reality that some of the state’s most vulnerable children, including those with complex needs, are subject to extremely precarious care arrangements. Urgent action is required by Government to tackle this. EPIC have been calling for the establishment by the Department of Children of an emergency, inter-departmental committee tasked with addressing the crisis in the care system and developing a National Strategy on Alternative Care.”

“Children are society’s most precious asset. Where the state is acting in loco parentis, it must do everything in its power to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of these children. The frightening reports published today should sharpen focus on the range of challenges in the care system – insufficient placements, inadequate standards and regulation of some providers, poor staffing, and over-reliance on private companies, some of whom are clearly profiting from sub-standard care provision. While EPIC welcome the quick action taken by Tusla in response to their inspection, ultimately no child should be housed in a Special Emergency Arrangement.”

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