Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte, has today expressed her disappointment over the recently published Annual Report on Tusla, which found that the agency is still operating as a “crisis agency.”

In his report, Ombudsman Peter Tyndall highlights that Tusla is still experiencing considerable organisational issues, including “the failure to follow due process, delays in dealing with concerns, in communication, in record keeping and in other areas.”

Deputy Rabbitte said, “I am truly appalled by the key findings of this report. Many of the most harrowing news stories from the year so far have been related to children, and it is thoroughly disheartening to see that Ireland still does not have an adequate system of child protection.

“This report covers cases in which grandparents who were wrongly accused of sexual abuse have waited years to have their cases addressed. It also contains cases in which caring, loving foster parents were treated poorly by their assigned social care workers.

“In all of these cases, it is clear that children and the people who cared for them lost out. Given Ireland’s history, one would expect us to treat child protection as a key priority. Sadly, this does not seem to be case with the current Government.

“Tusla has been in place for almost four years now and still seems to be struggling from crisis to crisis. Recent high profile cases have tested public confidence in Tusla on a weekly basis. This has to be corrected. Minister Zappone and the Government need to spell out what they expect from Tusla, and to elaborate on how they are going to transform the Child and Family Agency into a public body that lives up to its name.”