Wednesday 18 September 2019

Tusla sets up new helpline for scouting abuse concerns

Photo posed by model
Photo posed by model
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

State agency Tulsa has set up a new helpline for anyone with concerns over alleged historical abuse in scouting organisations.

It comes after Scouting Ireland was hit by controversy when an audit found evidence of 71 suspected perpetrators and 108 victims.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has today established a helpline.

A statement said that the phoneline is "for anyone with a concern, or who wishes to make a referral on foot of the publication of the recent Scouting Ireland report".

It said that all referrals are being screened and assessed in line with the agency's Children First policy.

The Tusla statement added: "This is an extremely sensitive issue and one which we acknowledge may cause upset and anxiety for those affected".

The dedicated helpline number is 1800 805 665.

The line will be open this weekend and Monday to Friday next week from 9am to 4pm.

The statement added that "Anyone with an immediate concern about the safety of a child outside of these hours should contact An Garda Síochána."

Most of the historical cases of alleged abuse in scouting organisations date from the 1960s to 1980s

Scouting Ireland said none of the alleged abusers are still working with the organisation and most of them are deceased.

Reports have been made to the Gardaí and Tusla in relation to alleged abusers.

Scouting Ireland has also set up a helpline on freephone number is 1800 221 199.

They also said emails can be sent to safeguarding@scouts.ie 

The organisation has insisted that safeguarding children is Scouting Ireland’s “number one priority”.

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