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Girl (12) was suicidal after 'pressure' from family

IN 2008, this 12-year-old child died, three years after the HSE managed to get her into care following claims of serious abuse.

In the run-up to her death, she began to display suicidal tendencies.

During her time in foster placements, the youngster was under extreme pressure from family members because she had witnessed the abuse of a sibling.

Full care orders were granted for her and her two younger siblings but there was "significant family friction" regarding the placement.

While she had been referred to a psychologist, her case had not been opened by the time she died.

During her three years in care, she had been given two foster placements and had moved between respite foster placements on 32 separate occasions.

She had engaged with a number of services, including the Specialist Sexual Abuse Unit, education services and was referred to the gardai in 2001 over the allegations.

The report noted that she had been put under "extreme pressure" by the alleged abuser to retract her statement over what she had witnessed.

It also questioned whether her placement, which was in the same locality as her family, was the best option given "the level of hostility and ongoing pressure" she was experiencing.

The report found that she should have been given an assessment by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services at an early point in her care.

However, in every other respect her foster carers appeared to have met her needs.

Irish Independent