October 2017 Comments

ANON Oct 29th, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

1/2...Child protection system ‘not ready’ for mandatory reporting of abuse concerns…

Social workers have warned the child protection system is “in no way ready” for the introduction in six weeks time of mandatory reporting of child abuse concerns.

Frank Browne, chairman of the board of directors of the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW), said: “You have to be sure before implementing a new system that it can deliver and there is no evidence that Tusla is ready.”

He said the IASW was “never in favour of mandatory reporting”, which, they believe, will lead to a massive increase in referrals to child protection services.

As it stands, more than 800 children regarded as “high priority” cases are without an allocated social worker.

“We see it as potentially placing children at greater risk because there will be more children on waiting lists,” he said.

“Mandatory reporting might tick all the boxes, but it means social workers will have to respond to what could be very superficial concerns.”

From December 11, under the Children First Act 2015, all individuals and groups dealing with children will be obliged to report child protection concerns that cross a defined threshold to Tusla.

ANON

ANON Oct 29th, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

2/2...It previously emerged that Tusla chief Fred McBride had written to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs recommending that mandatory reporting not be introduced, or, at the very least, be deferred.

However, Tusla got an additional €40m in the budget and Mr McBride has since said they have sufficient resources.

A spokeswoman for Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said Mr McBride shared the minister’s view that it was time to introduce mandatory reporting.

“Fred McBride stood side-by-side with her when she announced the commencement date and echoed his support during subsequent media interviews and at the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee last week,” the spokeswoman said, She said mandatory reporting “has been debated for 20 years by five Governments” and the minister was of the view it was “time to act”.

Social workers who spoke to the Irish Examiner on condition of anonymity said they had no confidence the system was ready to take on mandatory reporting.

“There is a political imperative to say we tick the box and we’ve got that in [mandatory reporting] but it bears no relation to the actuality on the ground and the potential impact it will have on existing referrals,” said one social worker.

Ms Zappone’s spokeswoman said mandatory reporting “will fulfill the 2011 Programme for Government commitment” of putting reporting of child abuse on a statutory footing.

Concerns about mandatory reporting will feature at the sixth National Child Protection and Welfare Social Workers Conference that takes place in University College Cork.

ANON

ANON Oct 29th, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

Leaking briefing for PAC on ‘Grace’ abuse scandal…

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to meet in private today to receive a confidential legal briefing on the ‘Grace’ foster abuse scandal.

The Oireachtas legal adviser is to brief members of the committee on an internal HSE report into the funding of Grace’s caregiver.

Grace was left in a foster home for almost 20 years despite a succession of sexual abuse allegations, while another 46 children and adults with intellectual disabilities also went through the home.

The PAC, chaired by Fianna Fáil Laois TD Seán Fleming, was due to discuss the matter last Thursday but because of an overrun, today’s special meeting was called.

Despite the scandal being the subject of a commission of inquiry, the PAC is still demanding answers from the HSE as to handling of the case.

However, a number of PAC members are said to be “nervous” about dealing with the matter now it is subject to the commission.

The commission, headed by Marjorie Farrelly, is to deliver an interim report to Minister Finian McGrath before Christmas on Grace’s case only, ahead of a second module which will examine the other 46 cases.

The internal report, produced by consultants Deloitte, examined the funding model given to Grace’s caregiver, and was presented to the PAC last month.

A table in a draft version of the Deloitte report completed in May 2017 showed the annual under-funding of more than €70,000 per year amounted to an effective annual cut in the service provider’s funding of as much as 8.8%.

In April, the HSE agreed in the High Court that it had under-funded Grace’s care by €600,000 over the period she had resided with the whistleblowers’ service provider between 2009 to the present.

Earlier this month, a whistle blower in the case of Grace raised questions over a HSE-commissioned report into the vulnerable young woman’s care, which was submitted to the PAC.

The whistle blower, who works in the service provider caring for Grace, has expressed concern over the omission of a table from the report, which quantifies the HSE’s under-funding of Grace’s care in terms of a percentage cut to the provider’s funding levels

ANON

ANON Oct 19th, 2017 @ 01:25 PM

Foster care abuse victims urged to speak out after ruling…

A woman who won a "landmark" legal battle against a council after being abused by foster parents as a child has urged more victims to speak out.

Natasha Armes, 40, from Nottingham, had been in foster care from the age of seven to 18, in the 1980s.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled Nottinghamshire County Council "vicariously liable" for the abuse committed by her foster parents.

Ms Armes said it was "not too late" for other victims to come forward.

Ms Armes said she had been seeking justice for eight years and it had been a "constant battle" to get people to believe her.

She had previously lost her claim against the authority, at the High Court and Court of Appeal.

But, following the verdict in her favour, she said she could now "start living".

The court heard Ms Armes was physically and emotionally abused by Glenys Allison in her first placement, and sexually abused by Mark Blakely in the second.

And, in the latest hearing, the judges ruled the council could be held liable in respect of the abuse by carers, despite being found not to be negligent in connection with the selection or supervision of them.

Colin Pettigrew, of the county council, said it was a "huge regret" Ms Armes had not been safe in care 30 years ago and the findings would have "far-reaching implications" in the UK.

Ms Armes' solicitor Billhar Uppal, said: "If Natasha had been in a children's home there would have been no question the local authority would have been liable for members of staff.

"That position should never have been different in terms of a foster child."

There will be financial implications for authorities following the ruling and he hopes more people will come forward who have suffered abuse, he added. 19-10-2017

ANON

ANON Oct 19th, 2017 @ 01:22 PM

Ex-teacher, 90, sexually abused boys on Arrochar camping trip…

A judge has ruled that a 90-year-old former teacher sexually abused two schoolboys more than 40 years ago.

After examining the facts, Judge John Morris QC determined that John Pringle, from Mull, had carried out the indecent assaults on a camping trip.

The offences were committed at a caravan at Arrochar, Argyll and Bute, between April 1972 and January 1974.

Pringle, who was deemed unfit to stand trial, was not in court for the hearing.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Morris heard the evidence with no jury present and decided that there were no reasonable grounds to acquit Pringle.

One of Pringle's victims, who was 14 at the time, told of how he would be given alcohol and then abused.

The other victim, who was 13 at the time, said that Pringle gave him alcohol and also showed him pornographic magazines before indecently assaulting him.

Prosecutor Kath Harper said: "One of the victims came forward because the abuse had been playing on his mind. The other came forward because of the Jimmy Savile revelations.

"The two men came forward independently within a fortnight of each other," he added.
The court heard that Pringle, who was a French teacher at Bishopbriggs Academy, took boys away on outdoor courses.

Judge Morris said after hearing evidence: "I find the facts have been established. The witnesses were credible and reliable."

The judge will decide at a hearing next month at the High Court in Edinburgh whether to impose any order on Pringle.

The court heard that Pringle has two convictions for similar incidents.

He was jailed in 2008 for sexually abusing boys.

The offences were carried out after he lured three teenage boys to his caravan at
Arrochar between 1979 and 1981 when the boys were aged 13 and 14.

Pringle was also sentenced to 12 months in prison at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in 2010 after being convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys at Arrochar.

ANON

ANON Oct 19th, 2017 @ 01:14 PM

A report that found children were put at risk of harm by local authority failings will be discussed at a full meeting of Powys councillors later.

A draft safeguarding children improvement plan will be considered, after a damning inspectors' report.

On Tuesday, the council was given 20 days to complete such a document.
The draft proposals promise to listen to children, young people and their families and to prioritise making permanent appointments to key posts.

Council leader Rosemarie Harris has put the cost of the improvements needed at around £4m.

It emerged on Wednesday that Welsh ministers and the inspectors had learned from the media that the authority has also spoken to Dyfed Powys Police about potential manipulation of children's services performance data.

The council will meet officers from the force later to get advice on how to proceed on that matter.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, whose constituency is in north Powys, told BBC Radio Wales he was aware of concerns some time ago and he had hoped action had been taken after discussions with the authority.

He said having seen the report it was clear "action wasn't being taken" and that the Welsh Government should step in if the council did not resolve issues swiftly enough.

The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales report found evidence of missed opportunities to safeguard children and concluded a "lack of assessment, intervention and support, together with poor follow up and oversight, has and is placing children at considerable risk".

The council has apologised and has 90 days to improve or face being taken over by the Welsh Government.

Social Services Minister Rebecca Evans has warned she will not hesitate to intervene if required.

ANON

ANON Oct 19th, 2017 @ 01:12 PM

1/2...Call to open Church records to abuse survivors…

The Government must push the Catholic Church and religious orders to open their records to abuse survivors and academics

Catriona Crowe, former head of special projects at the National Archives of Ireland, said that it “should not be a matter of grace and favour” that survivors are granted full access to records, but a matter of right.

She said Ireland had seen unprecedented disclosures relating to treatment of vulnerable women and children across a unique archipelago of institutions mother and baby homes, Magdalene laundries, industrial schools, and reformatories.

She said the only way to achieve a complete picture of what happened is to have full access to their archives.

She said these institutions were run largely with the blessing of the State and, as a result, the State should now intervene.

“There should be very high-level talks between the Catholic Church and the State and the outcome of that should be that the Catholic Church would agree to put its records into an independent repository, including their parish records.”

Ms Crowe said some religious records were regarded as “a private fiefdom” by the Catholic Church, the dioceses, and religious orders.

“I have a proposal to make to the religious orders and the diocesan authorities that in lieu of part of their unpaid redress payment to the State, which still remains derelict in terms of what they should have paid, could they consider doing something that everyone would appreciate greatly, which is to bring their records together with the help of the State with proper and qualified people so that they can be accessed by survivors, scholars, and genealogists,” she said.

ANON

ANON Oct 19th, 2017 @ 01:10 PM

2/2...Regarding material relating to mother and baby homes, Magdalene laundries and industrial schools that is held by the State, she said while privacy issues were important, there should be no reason the administrative records cannot be opened to scholars and journalists.

“The way around this is to catalogue the records, digitise the stuff that relates to individuals if they want, anonymise the database, and open up all the rest of it to journalists and scholars and anyone who wants to see it.”

Ms Crowe said it was “utterly frustrating and completely wrong” that administrative records are restricted or refused under freedom of information due to data protection or privacy concerns.

“It’s a very handy thing to use if you want to keep records closed this is the way to do it. Good archivists and people who believe in access will find ways around if they can but that shouldn’t be the situation. It should not be there as a way to prevent material being made available.”

Regarding adoption records held by Tusla, Ms Crowe said this material needed to be digitised and centralised as a matter of urgency.

ANON

ANON Oct 16th, 2017 @ 01:53 PM

1/2...Forced adoption survivors claim they were left out of group for probing abuse…

Survivors of forced adoptions at mother and baby homes have claimed they were excluded from a Stormont working group tasked with investigating abuse at the institutions.

Mothers and adults born in the homes accused the group of failing victims, saying there is no urgency to progress the inquiry.

An inter-departmental group was set up at the end of February to investigate historical abuse at the homes.

Norah Gibbons - who was a member of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in the Republic of Ireland has been hired as an independent chairwoman.

The group has only met twice and has yet to appoint researchers.

Requests by a campaign group of survivors - Birth Mothers And Their Children for

Justice NI - to see minutes of the meetings have been denied.

Eunan Duffy, who was born in the Marian Vale mother and baby home in Newry before being taken from his mother against her will and placed for adoption, hit out at the group's "lack of progress".

"The working group is showing absolutely no urgency and there has been a total lack of any progress. We have not been consulted by the group.

"How can a group investigate what went on in these homes without involving us? We have been completely excluded," claimed Mr Duffy.

He added: "We are still living with the consequences of what happened in these homes. While this process drags on survivors are dying without any redress or apology."

Mr Duffy requested copies of the minutes from the working group's two meetings under Freedom of Information but was refused on the basis it would not be in the public interest to share the details.

ANON

ANON Oct 16th, 2017 @ 01:50 PM

2/2...The group said in its refusal letter: "There is a significant risk that disclosure would result in less candid opinions being expressed and therefore weaken the quality of the decisions yet to be taken."

It added: "Appropriate time must be given to allow robust and candid discussions to take place which in turn will allow informed policy decisions to be taken at a future date."

Mr Duffy said: "I am angry by the total lack of cooperation and consultation."

The Executive Office insisted in a statement that the working group "is sensitive to the views of all those who have suffered abuse and committed to a process of ongoing engagement."

A spokesman added: "In response to a joint proposal by the former first and deputy first ministers and the former health minister, the Executive agreed to the establishment of a single inter-departmental working group (IDWG) to take forward work on Mother and Baby Homes/Magdalene Asylums (Laundries) and historical clerical child abuse.

"The IDWG is now established. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Health and the Executive Office and is independently chaired.

"It has been tasked with making recommendations to the Executive in connection with mother and baby homes/magdalene asylums (laundries) and historical clerical child abuse.

"Norah Gibbons was appointed to chair the IDWG on 28 February 2017. The IDWG met for the first time on March 29 2017, and again on September 14 2017. It has also conducted business by correspondence.

"One of the first tasks of the IDWG was to oversee the procurement of research on mother and baby homes/magdalene asylums (laundries).

"The procurement process is near completion.

"Among other things, it is intended that the research will consider the entry and exit pathways of women to mother and baby homes/magdalene asylums (laundries), the living and working conditions and care arrangements for residents, mortality rates, post-mortem practice and adoption practice."

ANON

ANON Oct 12th, 2017 @ 01:06 PM

Arrest after police take 'rare' step to release photos of four-year-old abuse victim…

Police take the "rare" step of publishing unblurred images of the four-year-old victim in a last-ditch attempt to find her abuser.

German police have arrested a man suspected of sexually abusing a young girl after taking the unusual step of releasing unblurred photographs of the victim.

The images of the four-year-old girl had been discovered on the dark web and hours after they were published as part of a public appeal, detectives detained a 24-year-old man in Lower Saxony.

Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), cyber crime officers and Frankfurt police were involved in the manhunt.

Several people responded to the police appeal, leading to the detention of the suspect.

His property was searched and evidence seized.

It is thought the child was severely sexually assaulted several times between October 2016 and July 2017.

The footage was posted on the dark web, a restricted access computer network often used by criminals.

Prosecutor Georg Ungefuk, from the Central Office for Combating Cyber Crime, told Bild that the suspect was in custody and being questioned.

He said the girl had been examined by a child psychologist and was back with her family.

Mr Ungefuk took the decision to release the photos of the child on Monday in a final attempt to find the perpetrator.

He told the German newspaper: "It is very rare that we go public with pictures of the victims.

"This really only happens when all further investigations are exhausted and we see no other way to identify the perpetrator."

Investigators hailed the public's "great support" which helped officers trace the suspect "so quickly"and asked for any pictures identifying the girl to be deleted.

ANON

ANON Oct 9th, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

Inquiry to examine claims of abuse by Cyril Smith in Rochdale…

Allegations of sexual abuse at two children's homes in Rochdale are due to be examined by the Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse later.

The national inquiry will investigate an alleged failure to prosecute the late Liberal Democrat MP Cyril Smith.

The allegations relate to Cambridge House Boys' Hostel and Knowl View School, where Mr Smith was a governor.

The inquiry will hear evidence over three weeks of hearings and examine claims of institutional failings.

'Stale' evidence...

Claims of abuse date back to the early 1960s when Mr Smith, the town's former MP, is first alleged to have abused eight teenage boys.

In 1970, when he was hoping to stand for election as the town's MP, prosecutors decided not to take any further action.

They said his accusers were not reliable and the evidence was "stale".
In the 1990s, several experts also reported concerns about child abuse, only for the council and police to decide not to act. Mr Smith died in 2010.

The Rochdale children's homes allegations have never been investigated in their entirety.

'Shadow over town'...

Last month, Rochdale Borough Council said the children in local authority care in the town who reported sexual and physical abuse had been failed by the council.

Its chief executive, Steve Rumbelow, said events at Knowl View and Cambridge House had "cast a long shadow over the town".

He apologised, saying the council's response to reports of abuse was "unforgiveable".

A police investigation, published this year, found no evidence of a cover-up or corruption over claims of abuse at Knowl View

ANON

ANON Oct 7th, 2017 @ 02:03 PM

Addenbrooke's Hospital pays out to abused patients…

A hospital where a doctor abused child patients has said it has paid out £611,750 in compensation to victims and their families.

Myles Bradbury was jailed for 22 years in December 2014 after admitting abusing 18 victims at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

The hospital said it received 31 claims, 15 of which have been settled.
It said the age range of patients was from six to 17. The claims were made over the period of 2014-2017, it said.

The information was disclosed by Addenbrooke's Hospital in response to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC.

Bradbury, of Herringswell, Suffolk, admitted 25 offences, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possessing more than 16,000 indecent images.

The blood cancer specialist used a spy pen to take pictures of his victims.
It contained 170,425 images of "boys partially clothed... none indecent", Cambridge Crown Court heard at the time of his sentencing.

The images of his victims, some of whom had haemophilia, leukaemia and other serious illnesses, were gathered at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

'Abhorrent betrayal'

Samantha Robson, who has represented nine of Bradbury's victims, said some of those cases have been settled with damages awarded between £17,500 and £30,000.

"To date only a small proportion of the potential victims of Bradbury have come forward.

"The fact that not all of Bradbury's victims were named in the criminal proceedings should not prevent others from coming forward with their claims."

In addition to his jail term, Bradbury was placed on the sex offenders register for life and made subject of a sexual offences prevention order for life.

At the time, Addenbrooke's Hospital said it was "sickened" by Bradbury's "abhorrent betrayal and manipulation of his position as a doctor".

ANON

ANON Oct 6th, 2017 @ 03:20 PM

OAP for trial on 19 counts of sex abuse…

A pensioner of 77 was arraigned at the Crown Court in Londonderry yesterday charged with 19 sexually abusing his grand-niece over a four-year period in the 1990s.

Because of the relationship between the defendant and the complainant the pensioner cannot be named.

He denies three charges of rape, 10 of indecent assault, five of committing gross indecency with or towards a child, and one further associated charge.

The defendant also denies committing the 19 offences on various dates between 1990 and 1994.

A Public Prosecution Service barrister told the court yesterday that there would be six prosecution witnesses giving evidence in the trial, which is expected to last a week.

The case was adjourned until November 8, when a trial date will be fixed.

Following yesterday's hearing the defendant was released on continuing bail.

ANON

ANON Oct 6th, 2017 @ 03:17 PM

Sunrise team: Anti-grooming unit in Rochdale sees 21 jailed…

Twenty-one people have been jailed for child sexual exploitation offences in the last four years after a team was set up to protect vulnerable children.

The Sunrise team was launched by Rochdale Council after nine men were jailed in 2012 for grooming girls as young as 13.

Police and social workers working together helped more than 100 at-risk children last year.

They also target groomers and keep track of known offenders.

The council said it has visited over 600 premises in the borough and has closed nightclubs, takeaways and shops linked to child sexual exploitation.
Sunrise team: 'Grooming has not gone away'

Co-manager Martin Murphy said: "If during our work we identify that there is a potential crime, we would work with that young person to get their trust and to get them to a point where they might feel able to give an interview with the police and where possible we will take action to bring perpetrators to justice."

Sgt Alison Byrne from Greater Manchester Police said they also go into schools to teach young people to watch for signs of being groomed and keeping safe online.

She said: "I don't think we're naive enough to think that grooming has gone away, but we are more aware of it now, we are much more able and equipped to deal with it and respond to that threat.

"We hope we're educating the public to identify it much better and come forward with any information."

ANON

ANON Oct 5th, 2017 @ 03:20 PM

Ex-Northern Ireland primary school teacher accused of catalogue of sex offences…

A former Northern Ireland primary school teacher and junior hockey coach has been accused of a catalogue of sex offences.

Standing in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates Court, 51-year-old Glenn Stranex was charged with indecently assaulting a female in the late 80's.

He was also charged of two counts of engaging in sexual activity with two girls under 13 in August and September last year when he was "in a position of trust" over them at that time.

On a six count indictment Stranex, from the Cairnsville Road in Bangor, was also accused of taking and possessing an indecent photograph of a child and attempted voyeurism in that to obtain sexual gratification.

He allegedly "attempted to observe another person doing a private act, and you knew that the other person did not consent to being so observed."

A prosecuting lawyer told the court she was seeking a 12 week adjournment as "there is pending investigation and further evidence to be obtained."

His defence solicitor said there was no objection to the lengthy adjournment but asked for Stranex to be excused from attending on the next occasion.

Refusing the application, District Judge Mark Hamill queried "why should he be" and freed him on continuing bail.

He was ordered to appear again on January 10, 2018.

A former teacher at Rathmore Primary school, Stranex was also a hockey umpire, head coach for the Ulster under-16 team.

He was also Randalstown Ladies 1 XI team coach and Ulster Hockey’s youth officer for under-15 girls in the Bangor area.

ANON

ANON Oct 4th, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

1/2..Time bar on child abuse pay-outs lifted…

A long-standing time bar which prevented victims of childhood abuse seeking civil legal action has been lifted.

Survivors of abuse which happened after 1964 previously only had a three-year window to pursue damages.

New laws coming into force have now changed that.

Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing said the time bar was "against the interests of justice for those who'd survived abuse".

The three-year limit has been removed by the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill.

The bill was unanimously approved, by a margin of 115 to zero, when MSPs voted in the Scottish Parliament in June.

It allows the time bar to be lifted so long as the victim was a child under the age of 18 when they suffered sexual, physical or emotional abuse.

Sued directly...

The pursuer must also be the person who has been abused - so relatives of victims who have since died will not be able to seek damages.

The individual responsible for carrying out the abuse can be sued directly, but damages can also be sought against employers for their current or former employees.

The new law applies to anyone who suffered abuse on or after 26 September 1964, but not to victims who were abused before that date.

ANON

ANON Oct 4th, 2017 @ 11:51 AM

2/2...The Scottish government has estimated a potential 2,200 victims will be affected by the change in the law.

An independent Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical child abuse is currently under way, led by judge Lady Smith.

More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated.

'Courage of survivors'...

Annabelle Ewing added: "Child abuse is the most horrific betrayal of our young people and, even where such crimes were committed decades ago, we will do all we can to help survivors get the justice they deserve.

"Police Scotland and the Crown continue to work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice through our criminal courts.

"And, while it may not be the right way forward for all, survivors may now be considering the option of accessing justice through the civil courts.

"This legal milestone would not have happened but for the courage of many adult survivors whose persistence and dedication have shone a light on the dark realities of child abuse."

Joanne McMeeking, from the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (Celcis) at the University of Strathclyde, welcomed the introduction of the Act.

She said: "The abolishment of the time bar is the result of many years of successful campaigning by survivors.

"It is a welcome addition to the package of effective reparation as outlined in the Action Plan on Justice for victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care."

ANON

ANON Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 02:11 PM

John Joseph O’Brien reunited with his family in death…

An Irishman's long-lost family has come forward, following an appeal for people to attend his funeral.

John Joseph O'Brien (73) died in Manchester on August 9. Amid fears that nobody would attend his funeral the Council of Irish Associations Manchester issued a plea online for mourners to come to the service on Wednesday.

The organisation has now revealed that Mr O'Brien's long-lost children have got in touch, saying they "never forgot him" but sadly their efforts to build a relationship with him failed.

Mr O'Brien was a native of Co Wexford who moved to England, married and had two sons and a daughter.

"Sadly, the marriage ended and he moved away. Naturally the children loved their dad and never forgot him," the Manchester association said.

"They tried to find their dad but, in their words, they were 'stonewalled'."

The group revealed that Mr O'Brien wanted to find his children shortly before he died.

It added that his son and daughter had arranged Wednesday's funeral, which was open to his family and friends.

ANON

ANON Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 02:09 PM

Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse on way this year…

Katherine Zappone will commence all provisions of Children First Act in December

A mandatory requirement to report suspected child abuse will be introduced for all organisations and individuals dealing with children later this year, the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will announce on Monday.

Ms Zappone will commence all of the provisions of the Children First Act in mid December giving full effect to the legislation.

Only some sections of the Bill have been in operation over the past two years, including the removal of the right of “reasonable chastisement” of children by parents.

With the full commencement on December 11th, statutory obligations will be imposed on key professionals to report child protection concerns to the child agency Tusla.
Providers of services to children will also be obliged to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of their services and develop Child Safeguarding Statements.

“I am fulfilling a long-standing Government commitment in relation to mandatory reporting of child abuse,” said Ms Zappone. “While I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge for individuals and organisations to comply with their responsibilities under the Children First Act, I believe our children deserve no less