Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs has called on Minister Zappone to explain how she plans to support Tusla, following the agency’s claim that it will be negatively impacted by the introduction of mandatory reporting.
“We completely support the introduction of mandatory reporting, which is part of the Children First legislation. However, introducing mandatory reporting will naturally lead to an increased workload for Tusla. When mandatory reporting was introduced in New South Wales, it led to a 600% increase in complaints”, explained Deputy Rabbitte.
“Resources already seem to be stretched within Tusla, and there is no doubt that the agency would become even more strained with the addition of this extra work.
“Minister Zappone has committed to commencing this legislation by the end of 2017, but has failed to commit to providing Tusla with any additional resources.
“Tusla’s Chief Executive Fred McBride has been in the media this week claiming that he has repeatedly explained to the Minister that “unless [Tusla] are resourced at our front door, we won’t be able to deal with that volume of referrals and it’s likely then that unallocated cases will go up”.
“We simply cannot afford for that to happen. Has the Minister forgotten that there are still 623 children in care awaiting aftercare workers and 5,800 children waiting for a social care worker to be allocated to them?
“The bottom line here is that child protection services must not be compromised, least of all by the Minister’s own actions. Minister Zappone needs to explain how she will ensure that Children First will not impact on existent services”.