Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke has questioned the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone over the adequacy of Kildare’s child protection services.
Deputy O’Rourke raised the matter in the Dáil earlier today and highlighted two cases where action was not taken by the authorities after serious concerns were raised about the immediate risk of children in their own homes.
Deputy O’Rourke explained, “In recent weeks I have become aware of two specific cases where the HSE, Tusla and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs failed to follow up on serious concerns that were raised regarding the welfare of children in their own homes.
“In one of the cases serious concern was raised by a family member regarding the neglect of two children within the home. However despite this no follow up action was taken by the authorities despite there being an immediate risk to two children. The authorities still haven’t been in contact with the person raising the concerns over four weeks after she first made contact. Eventually the family member intervened by taking both at risk children into her own care, but she has no legal cover as no legal proceedings were taken by the authorities.
“I raised this issue in the Dáil earlier today with Minister Zappone and highlighted how there isn’t any proper co-ordination taking place between the HSE, Tusla and the Department of Children when it comes to child protection services in Kildare. The Minister assured me that she would look into the matter but it simply isn’t good enough that this sort of a situation is arising in the first place.
“The Government needs to review child protection services and ensure robust procedures are in place for children in situations of immediate risk. There must be a process of engagement between the HSE, Tusla and the Department to bring about immediate intervention. No child should be left in a situation where they are suffering, especially when the authorities have been alerted of the situation,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.