Tuesday 22 October 2019

Senator calls on Reilly to act

Senator Darragh O'Brien
Senator Darragh O'Brien

Minister for Children James Reilly has been called on to address what a local senator described as 'the significant problems in risk management, training and staff morale identified by the latest HIQA inspection of Oberstown Youth Detention Centre'.

Senator Darragh O'Brien (FF) said: 'The latest HIQA inspection report indicates that improvements have been made in some areas of concern that were identified in meetings with staff over the summer. Progress has been made in areas such as staffing and the use of single separation, however serious problems do remain outstanding at the facility.

Senator O'Brien claimed: 'The report finds that there is still huge mistrust of management by staff at the facility. Staff members appear to be overburdened and simply do not have time to build personal relationships based on trust with children in their care.

"Morale at the facility is still very low according to the report. It is clear that many of the staff remain distressed after the terrible stabbing incident which took place in August, which could have been potentially fatal. Staff members feel not enough progress has been made in the area of risk management and feel their health, safety and well-being is being ignored.'

He added: 'There have been numerous cases of absconding by children at the facility. Even more worrying is the number of violent attacks between March and July, in which nine female and 22 male employees suffered serious injuries.' Senator O'Brien has called for immediate action.

Fingal Independent