I wish to express my welcome for today’s report by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children into the implementation of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children. I have long been of the view that the Children First Guidelines need to be put on a full statutory basis and the concerns raised in the Ombudsman’s Report reinforce for me the need for that course of action to be taken as a matter of absolute urgency.
Despite so many Reports in the last 12 months detailing our failure to protect children in this country we have had 2 revelations in the last 24 hours about failures to follow child protection guidelines.
Today the Children’s Ombudsman stated that insufficient efforts were made to drive forward implementation of Children First by the HSE internally and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin stated last night that within the Catholic Church there are worrying signs that despite solid regulations and norms these are not being followed with the rigour required.
It is imperative that the current Government respond to these continued failures by placing Children First on a statutory basis as a matter of urgency.
END - 11/05/2010