Concern over Child and Family Agency funding

Monday 07 July 2014 16.31
One in ten children within the child protection system does not have an allocated social worker or care plan
One in ten children within the child protection system does not have an allocated social worker or care plan

The chief executive of the Children's Rights Alliance has said her organisation is concerned that the new Child and Family Agency, Tusla, is another potential casualty of austerity.

It follows comments by the Tusla chief executive that the agency does not have enough money at the moment due to demand for its services.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the Children's Rights Alliance’s Tanya Ward said one in ten children within the child protection system did not have an allocated social worker or care plan.

Ms Ward said if the agency did not have enough resources to fulfil its role those statistics could go in the wrong direction.

She said the alliance was also concerned that the agency would not be in a position to support the new Children First legislation, which will put a legal obligation on those working with children to make referrals and to report instances of child abuse and neglect to Tusla.

Ms Ward said this would result in a big increase in referrals to the agency.

She said: "This is the biggest public sector reform in the Programme for Government, and we've had 17 official reports documenting how our child protection system was essentially broken.

"So you'd imagine with the biggest public sector reform in Government that the Government would then back it with resources."

She added: "And certainly we're concerned that again, it's another potential casualty of this austerity."