Opinion Analysis

Saturday 25 November 2017

Our child-protection system must work for the most vulnerable

Report makes for stark reading but shows the need for reform and legislation, writes Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald

IT is a terrible tragedy to lose a child, no matter what the circumstances. I appreciate, therefore, that the publication last week of the Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group is particularly difficult for the families of the 196 children and young adults who died in HSE care, in "aftercare", or who were "known to the HSE" in the decade up to 2010.

The report's findings are deeply disturbing. We read of children and young people, often vulnerable, often in crisis, who needed support. We read of families crying out for help they didn't get, but also families who were unable or even unwilling to engage with services. We read of services often willing, often going the extra mile, but fragmented and not joined-up in their response.

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