Saturday 31 January 2015

Reilly calls for TUSLA to cut legal fees

Published 18/07/2014 | 02:30

Jerry Buttimer TD, Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, presents Minister for Children Dr James Reilly (centre) with a copy of the report by the committee on a clearer definition of an aftercare plan for young people. Other committee members at the presentation in Dublin yesterday are, from left, Senator Jillian Van Turnhout, Sandra McLellan TD, Senator Imelda Henry and Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD Tom Burke
Minister for Children James Reilly Photo: Collins

CHILDREN should be benefiting from much of the €34m which is now being spent on legal fees by the child and family agency, TUSLA, Minister for Children James Reilly has said.

He wants the agency, which oversees child welfare and protection, to cut its "huge" payout to lawyers and direct it towards more services for children instead.

Minister Reilly, who was appearing before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, was speaking after a series of reviews into deaths involving young people in care or known to social services.

A spokeswoman for TUSLA said it was implementing a series of efficiencies to cut its legal bill. They intend to reduce the dependency on external support for general corporate matters and non-childcare specific service issues.

Work is also continuing to monitor expenditure on third party costs and guardians ad litem.

Dr Reilly confirmed he was in talks with the Department of Health about bringing some areas of public health with him, including responsibility for disease-prevention measures.

Irish Independent

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