Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway West Cllr. Mary Hoade says the Government’s failure to provide adequate funding for the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, has now led to a situation where children are being put at risk. The head of the agency has warned that it may be unable to meet key standards unless the issue of resources is properly addressed.
Cllr. Hoade commented, “This is an extremely serious issue, which has been consistently brushed under the carpet by this Government. Fine Gael and Labour announced the creation of a Department of Children with a full Cabinet Minister to great fanfare when they first took office, but the fact that services have now reached crisis point says a lot about their dedication to the issue of child protection.
“I welcomed the establishment of the Child and Family Agency, when it was first announced, however since then it has had to battle against huge funding and staffing issues which have had a major impact on its ability to carry out its work effectively. Last year it told the Government that it needed an additional budget allocation of €45m, just to stand still, yet a mere €26m was sanctioned. This has led to huge gaps in the system, not least the fact that there is still no 24/7 service in place.
“Vulnerable children here in Galway, and right around the country, are being put at risk because this Government has failed to follow through with the funding necessary to give Tusla the resources it needs. We have a Budget on the way next week and I am urging Minister Reilly to fight for this important body and for children at risk of harm and ensure that he secures adequate funding to drastically improve the situation at Tusla”.