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Inadequate resources, inconsistent assessment and recording practices, and limited interagency working, continue to result in failure to properly protect children and young people involved with the child welfare and protection system.
Children’s charity Barnardos said that the lessons outlined in the six reports published today by the National Review Panel for Serious Incidents & Child Deaths are well known, but that the learning needs to be implemented as a matter of urgency in the context of the ongoing reform of the child welfare and protection system.
Barnardos’ Chief Executive Fergus Finlay, said that the review of the cases and the indication that 13 young people have died so far in 2012, represented further evidence of the need for greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention approaches to both child welfare and child protection concerns.
In particular, Mr. Finlay said that mental health and addiction services for children and young people needed greater resourcing and to work more closely with the child welfare and protection system to ensure the system is capable of responding holistically to children’s needs.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the families of the young people whose lives were cut tragically short and whose stories are outlined in today’s reports. The lessons are well known at this point and we welcome the work that is currently ongoing within the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the HSE to rectify the current failings of the child welfare and protection system.
Today’s report highlights, yet again, the urgency of reforming the system and the significant responsibility on all of us to get it right for children and young people. Getting the right supports in place at the right time is fundamental to trying to avoid the tragic situations that today’s report highlights. We owe it to the young people we have failed and those who are struggling now to continue to learn from our mistakes and to do everything possible to build a better child welfare and protection system as a matter of urgency,” concluded Mr Finlay.
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