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After the Ryan Report...The Next Big Scandal?
national | rights, freedoms and repression | feature Saturday July 11, 2009 18:45 by Judy - WSM (personal capacity)
A child protection worker speaks out
The Ryan report into the abuse that occurred in the industrial and reformatory schools – which were run by the religious orders and supposedly under the supervision of the state – has recently been released. At this system’s height there were 7,998 children in the care of the state. Since the release of the report we have heard politicians rushing to condemn this system and saying how shocking it was. I find it incredible to hear the politicians pandering to the press in their condemnation of the old industrial school system when they know that children under their care in 2009 are being neglected still.
Considering the gravity of the Ryan Report it would be natural to assume that the government is now doing everything in its power to prevent the abuse of children in state care. You would like to think that considering how wrong the government got it in the past, they would be doing their utmost to protect the children in their care. However that is not the case.
The government has confirmed that 6,500 child protection cases have not been allocated a social worker. There are over 1000 children who have been taken into state care that exist without a social worker: the state has no idea what is going on where they have been placed. No idea if these children are facing neglect, emotional, psychological, sexual or physical abuse. High caseloads, staff burnout and massive staff turnovers mean that a child can have as many as 6 social workers in the space of a year. That is if they are lucky to have one at all. The reality is that if we intervene at all it’s nearly always too late.