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Thursday 18 January 2018

New agency for child protection unveiled by Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A PLAN for the creation of a new dedicated agency to deal with child protection and family welfare has been unveiled.

The move to create the single Child and Family Support Agency (CFSA) follows the report into the deaths of children in state care which shocked the nation.

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the new agency would bring together a whole range of services currently under the remit of the Health Services Executive (HSE) and other state agencies and departments.

“We are going to move from a position where child and family welfare was barely a priority, to a position where it will be the sole focus of a single dedicated State agency, overseen by a single dedicated government department,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

Among the recommendations contained in yesterday’s report of the taskforce charged with examining the role of the new agency include bringing the provision of speech and language therapy, psychological services, managing children detention school and bringing hospital social workers under the remit of the new agency.

Ms Fitzgerald said the CFSA, due to come into force in 2013, would bring a dedicated focus to child protection. However, Ms Fitzgerald said discussions would need to take place with the current service providers and ministers to bring in new legislation to establish the agency.

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