Children’s Rights Alliance: Children in Direct Provision Forgotten by the State
Monday, 24 May 2015: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Children’s Rights Alliance today responded to the publication of HIQA’s inspection of child protection and welfare services for children living in direct provision.
While HIQA’s report focuses on the services provided by Tusla – The Child and Family Agency – the report is significant because it is the first time that an official body with inspection powers has been able to shed some light on children’s lives in direct provision.
Commenting on today’s report ,Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance said that:
“HIQA’s report is hugely concerning. In one year alone, child protection referrals were made concerning 14% of all children living in direct provision. That is way above the national average of 1.6%”.
“HIQA’s report paints a painful picture of life in direct provision for children: children not having enough clothes or toys; children not experiencing play or normal family life; children forced to share communal bathrooms with strangers; and parents being unable to care for their children due to their own deteriorating mental health.”
“The report also found that children were exposed to child protection risks by living in this system. Inappropriate contact with adults, accidental injuries due to cramped living conditions, children exposed to physical abuse, domestic violence and violence between residents were all cited in child protection cases.
“Although the report found that Tusla provided a high quality service in several areas, it also found its response was inconsistent meaning that many children continued to be exposed to serious risks. The report also criticised the overall lack of strategic response.
“These findings cannot be ignored. Children can’t be left suffering in this system. Simple reassurances will not be enough to counter these shocking findings. Nothing less than a robust child protection and welfare response with proper independent inspections will be acceptable here.
We need urgent action from the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs working together with Tusla and the Reception and Integration Agency.”
For further information and interview bids, please contact:
Patricia Hoey, Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087 653 1069