FINE GAEL AND CHILDREN NO2 / ELECTION 2011
Last Thursday I welcomed the measures Fine Gael published under the broad agenda of the Safety Welfare Protection and Rights of Children in their Election Manifesto 2011.
I also said I would welcome publication of proposals for the Child Care/Protection System given Fine Gael’s welcome plans to abolish the HSE.
Today Fine Gael have published some more details which I do very much welcome.
Making the Minister for Children directly responsible for child care and protection services (removing these services from the HSE).
Creating a new dedicated agency called the Child Welfare and Protection Agency (CWPA) whose exclusive function will be to deliver child welfare and protection services.
Incorporating the Differential Response Model (DRM)of child protection into the delivery of services provided by the Child Welfare and Protection Agency.
Ensure that no social worker will engage in unsupervised front-line child protection work unless they have a minimum of 2 years experience.
Provide absolute protection for whistleblowers.
Require the monthly publication of up to date figures on the number of children who are in care, in emergency care or missing from care.
Require certification in Children First for those working with children.
Not allow the principle of confidentiality which is meant to protect children be used as a barrier to the transparency required in the public interest.
These measures in addition to those published last Thursday in the Fine Gael Election Manifesto would contribute hugely to advancing the agenda of the Safety Welfare and Protection of Children in my opinion.