Patrick Costello, Green Party TD for Dublin South Central, warned that children in care are being put at risk due to the lack of adequate placements, as demonstrated in the latest Child Law Project Reports published today.
Deputy Costello, a former child protection social worker and vice-chair of the Oireachtas Children’s committee stated “These reports speak again and again of children in unsafe or inappropriate arrangements. They highlight the struggle for TUSLA to provide secure placements for vulnerable young people. We have seen in previous Child Law Project reports children left at risk and not being taken into care as they should due to lack of placements. TUSLA take children in to care to protect them, they should not be contributing to the child’s trauma by failing to provide the security and safety they need”.
Deputy Costello continued “I am also concerned at the increase in the numbers of children under 12 in residential care placements. Information provided to me through Parliamentary Questions has shown an increase of 88% in under 12s in residential units in recent figures. One such case was published today in which the judge expressed concerns at the “clear deterioration” in a child’s wellbeing due to the inappropriate placement. I have already raised my concern at this with the minister’s office and urged action to address it”.
“Solutions to this issue must be found and proper resources committed to this issue”, Deputy Costello stated. He continued, “with the budget preparation process underway it is imperative that Tusla be given the resources they need to fully support foster carers and provide an adequate number of safe secure placements.”
Deputy Costello concluded “We should be grateful for the insight that ‘The Child Law Project’ gives us to the systemic issues in child protection. The Green Party sought the continued funding that was agreed in the Programme for Government, and these reports show the benefit to everyone of Minister O’Gorman delivering on that funding.”