Wednesday, July 01, 2015

"Grave concerns" following HIQA inspection of child protection and welfare services in Louth / Meath

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty has, today (Tuesday), said that following the publishing of the HIQA inspection report on child protection and welfare, she shares the “grave concerns” for the large number of children living in direct provision.

The TD for Meath East said that “I have read the inspection report published last week by HIQA for children living in direct provision in Louth and Meath and I must say I share the “grave concerns” outlined in the report. Louth / Meath which has a total of 364 children living in direct provision, was found to have shown significant delays in social work interventions whereby children were not seen by a social worker despite warning signs been noted in records.

“It is just not good enough, if a child is at risk of, for instance, of emotional or physical abuse then intervention should take place without delay. Cases such as these should be escalated without delay to the Child and Family Agency for action. The right of the child is paramount and it is our responsibility to ensure that all children are protected from any risks that may pose to them while living in direct provision.

“This is just one of the many findings of the inspection report of Louth / Meath, others include the physical and mental wellness of both the child and parent, the lack of clothes and toys, children being left alone for long periods of time, exposure to domestic violence, amongst others.”

Doherty concluded saying, “there is absolutely no excuse, it is our responsibility to protect these children from all such threats. I welcome the recommendations which were made by HIQA to the Child and Family Agency, calling for the development of an inter-cultural strategy to inform the provision of social services and the completion of an audit to ensure that no children are at risk of harm.”

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