Tusla guidelines provide that suspects/alleged abusers may be permitted to interview complainants

In June, 2019 Tusla, the Irish Child and Family Agency set out how it intended to respond to new figures that showed the number of cases of retrospective abuse awaiting allocation to a social worker had overtaken the number of cases that had been allocated.

Figures published in January, 2019 by Tusla showed that the number of unallocated cases overtook the number of cases that had been allocated for the first time.

The number of monthly referrals of such cases peaked in January, 2019 at 321, and in February, 2019 the number of open cases of retrospective abuse stood at 2,824.

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Tusla (The Irish Child & Family Agency) under fire again

Readers of the blog will be aware that we have recently reported on serious issues that have arisen in respect of Tusla and the exercise of its statutory duties in our blog of the 21 June and 3 September 2019.

The Irish Child and Family Agency came in for further criticism in a judgment handed down in the Irish High Court on 2 September by Mr Justice Meenan.

The case before the High Court arose in circumstances where a teacher was accused of smacking a female student on the bottom and allegedly making inappropriate comments to her.

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TUSLA (Irish State Agency) criticised for delays in reporting abuse cases

The Irish Quality Agency (HIQA) has criticised the agency responsible for managing allegations of abuse in Ireland. It found that fewer than half of the cases of suspected child abuse in the South Dublin area had been reported to the Gardai (Irish police) in a timely manner.

It also found that children identified as at risk were not receiving regular home visits from social workers with gaps of six weeks or more recorded.

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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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