Irish Government to provide €5 million to fund support services for former residents of mother and baby homes

At a Cabinet Meeting just before Christmas, the Irish Minister for Health, Simon Harris outlined plans by the Irish Government to spend €5 million on expert advisors, counselling staff and an extensive research project to address the legacy of mother and baby homes and the effects of that legacy on an estimated 57,000 former residents.

The proposed funding breaks down as follows:

  • €1.4m to the Health Service Executive the Irish equivalent of the NHS for 25 additional counselling staff to support the psychological needs of former residents of the mother and baby homes;
  • €600,000 to fund the appointment of four expert advisors who will be tasked with creating a “bespoke” counselling and well-being service including computer costs and support staff.

The Health Research Board will also fund a dedicated research study aimed at improving the health and well-being of former residents of mother and baby homes, which is estimated to cost €1m.

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The long road to mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse in the Republic of Ireland

The Commission to inquire into child abuse in the Republic of Ireland published its report (commonly known as The Ryan Report) on the 20 May 2009.

One of the recommendations of that report was that Children First: The National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children should be uniformly and consistently implemented throughout the state in dealing with allegations of abuse. The guidelines assisted people in recognising child abuse and neglect, and in reporting reasonable concerns but it did not amount to mandatory reporting.

Following the publication of the Ryan Report, the Irish Government prepared and published a detailed Implementation Plan in July 2009.

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