Children in State care being ‘placed in danger of abuse and exploitation’

(22 Jun 2014)

THERE ARE ALMOST 6,500 children in State care right now. Many of them do not have a social worker assigned to them, some are on long waiting lists for services and others live in poor accommodation or are homeless.

This week, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, who co-founded Focus Ireland, warned that the placement of homeless children in bed and breakfasts and the growing waiting lists for our of hours supports have opened them up to exploitation.

“As we gather this evening it is a harsh reality that a child found in urgent care tonight, whether as the result of living on the streets, a family row or simply falling out of the system, will not get the support of an out of hours social worker – not only does no such service exist but it is not a priority for government,” she said on Tuesday.

Figures from 2013 found 569 children in the care of the HSE did not have a social worker. One third of the people living in asylum accommodation centres are children and some were born and have spent their entire lives living in these centres or hostels.

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