Social workers defended

A statement by Túsla - Child and Family Agency that they “discovered” almost 1,600 unprocessed reports of children at risk in Laois and Offaly has been strongly denied by the social workers’ union rep.

A statement by Túsla - Child and Family Agency that they “discovered” almost 1,600 unprocessed reports of children at risk in Laois and Offaly has been strongly denied by the social workers’ union rep.

Denis Rohan, Asst General Secretary of IMPACT says the files had all been assessed, with the build-up due to poor resources and uncovered social worker maternity leave.

“For anybody to attempt to claim that they fell out of a press, it’s completely erroneous. It’s disingenuous to claim these are unidentified, it’s absolutely scandalous,” he said.

“There was no level of incompetence, this was caused by a shortage of staff and resources,” Mr Rohan said.

Last Thursday April 30, Minister for Children Dr James Reilly stated he was told by Túsla of the “discovery of previously undentified files” .

An urgent review of 700 children at risk files is to be completed this Friday to see if any need to be assigned to a social worker.

Also under review are 882 unacknowledged Garda referrals. An investigation, independent of local management, will also take place.

“My immediate priority is to ensure that no child is at risk of harm,” said Minister Reilly, who has requested a national audit of all such cases.

See page 3.