Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy has expressed concern at the number of calls received by Childline last year.
Deputy Troy commented: “I am particularly worried about the volume of calls that went unanswered last year. With one in three calls going unanswered there is a clear need for additional resources to support children in distress.
“Obviously any extra resources should be targeted at out-of-hours with Childline reporting that 80% of calls and other contacts with children happening outside of normal hours. The fact that more children are also making contact by text, email and through online chat shows the importance of having a fully interactive service available to children in need.
“The passage of the Children’s Referendum last year showed a clear will on the part of the people to have more protection, more support and more resources available to help children. Childline have reported that over 14% of contact with them last year related to issues of child abuse and welfare. This is obviously still a huge cause for concern.
“One area that is being worked on at the moment is whole issue of bullying. Childline say over 10,000 contacts last year were about bullying. This is an area where the government simply isn’t doing enough. We need to see much more urgency on the part of the Minister for Children and the Minister for Education in tackling this issue and raising awareness about the damage bullying can cause.”
Deputy Troy concluded: “I want to commend Childline for their ongoing commitment to child protection and highlighting the issues facing young people at the moment. There is no question that they’re work of huge benefit to thousands of children across the country and that must be recognised and appreciated.”