Child care

Print FriendlyPrint This Article

Missing children

Senator Maria Corrigan (FF, Taoiseach nominee) raised the issue of 500 children in the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE) going missing, mainly non-nationals and unaccompanied minors (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 4th February 2010, 490-2).  70 had since been located, but 424 remained missing.  Although some had probably sought out family members since their arrival and then left HSE care of their own volition, there were concerns that others had been brought into the country for the sex trade.

Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children Barry Andrews agreed that the matter was one of great concern.  He described at length the coordination measures undertaken by the HSE with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, such as protocols, surveillance, fingerprinting, notification, training and social work involvement.  Nine children had been successfully traced in 2009 and there was a decline in the numbers of missing children at the end of 2009.    He was satisfied that their efforts had proved effective.

Maria Corrigan though was not, because we still did not know what had happened to 424 of them.  As long as one child was missing, we needed to satisfy ourselves that he or she was safe and she suggested a dedicated phone line and that responsibility be given to the Ombudsman for Children.  The Minister of State agreed with the idea of the phone line.  Responsibility for the Ombudsman for Children would require legislation.  He had met representative groups such as the ISPCC, the Children’s Rights Alliance and Barnardos and had set up a working

  • See also Dail Eireann, Debates, 16th February 2010, 402-3 group.

Other debates

  • Headshops: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 3rd February 2010, 394-422; Dail Eireann, Debates, 18th February 2010, 813-6; Seanad Eireann, Debates, 11th March 2010, 598-609.
  • Youth unemployment: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 10th February 2010, 607-634
  • Disadvantaged status of Togher National School: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 18th February 2010, 856-8; Ballyphehane/Togher RAPID: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 24th February 2010, 132-4
  • Constitutional amendment for children: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 24th February 2010, 77-100
  • Education for children with special needs: Seanad Eireann, Debates, 24th February 2010, 100-132
  • Services to prevent suicide: Dail Eireann, Debates, 2nd February 2010, 860-2
  • Debt distress: Dail Eireann, Debates, 3rd February 2010, 61-3
  • New childcare programme: Dail Eireann, Debates, 4th February 2010, 414-416.  For county statistics, see Dail Eireann, Debates, 11th March 2010, 990-2
  • Closure of homeless services in Dublin: Dail Eireann, Debates, 10th February 2010, 1019-1021
  • Progress on Vision for Change: Dail Eireann, Debates, 16th February 2010, 300-2
  • Unemployment: Dail Eireann, Debates, 23rd February 2010, 62-84; 24th February,  373-398
  • Report of joint committee on constitutional amendment on children: Dail Eireann, Debates, 11th March 2010, 888 – 911.