Dublin: Ombudsman Wants Rights Of Children Prioritised

18 Jul

The Ombudsman for Children has called for trade unions involved in dealing with child protection services to ‘step up to the plate’ in fully implementing the

Children First Guidelines.

Emily Logan - 'Vital administrative work avoided'

Emily Logan – ‘Vital administrative work avoided’

Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan has criticised local work arrangements entered into by the IMPACT trade union, representing social workers and the HSE.

According to Ms Logan, the Prioritisation of Work Agreement led to social workers being able to avoid administrative work which was ‘vital’ to building up a ‘cohesive and good picture of any child at risk in the state’.

She said she was ‘very, very concerned’ that, in some cases, a hierarchy of abuse was being drawn up by social workers which placed child neglect at the very bottom.

Speaking on RTÉ‘s This Week programme, she said that she would not take the assurance of any organisation on the implementation of child protection rules and that this included unions.

Ms Logan said: ‘Everybody must step up to the plate here and not place barriers in the way of good child protection services. And we need to see the unions being more open and negotiating in a fair way, but in a way that considers the interests of children. We need to set aside any kind of institutional loyalties now.’

Fingers burned

Meanwhile the National Director of Children and Family services in the Health Service Executive has said it is hoped to tender for an Information Technology system to assist child protection in the near future.

Speaking to the ‘This Week’ programme on RTÉ Radio, Gordan Jeyes said in the past people have had their fingers burned as a result of cost overruns on similar IT systems and he said as a result there is a caution about the process which is underway, which he said had slowed down the process.

Mr Jeyes said IT would not give good practice, but the process of collecting information and standardising the way information is gathered would.

As approval is granted the HSE will tender for an IT system, he said.

Mr Jeyes said he would not be ‘a hostage to fortune’ by confirming a timeframe for the introduction of the sytem, but he said it would be in place ‘as soon as possible’.

Helplines: www.spunout.ie & www.teenline.ie & www.letsomeoneknow.ie

Keywords:   emily logan

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