Child welfare

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Child deaths

The Dail debated the report on the deaths of children in care (Dail Eireann, Debates, 21st June 2012, 586-9).  Charlie McConalogue (FF, Donegal NE) described it as harrowing reading, showing that 196 had died since 2000, some 112 of unnatural causes and he commended the two authors, Geoffrey Shannon and Norah Gibbons.  He drew attention to the decline in the numbers of children in care with assigned social workers from 93.9% to 92% and insisted there must be mandatory aftercare.  Responding for the government, the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Jan O’Sullivan told him that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs would be putting an implementation programme in place, with regular reports to the government.  Next month the Health Information and Quality Authority would set down new standards for the delivery of an effective and accountable child protection service.  The task force on the new child and family support agency would present its report by the end of this month and it would be up and running in January 2013.  The provision of nationwide 24hr social work assistance was being worked on.  The minister also announced the preparation of legislation to provide clarity around aftercare.

> See also: Dail Eireann, Debates, 26th June 2012, 280-2