Disturbing – HSE Failed Our Vulnerable Citizens!

Title: Ministers recommend Commission of Investigation into foster home allegations

Author: RTE News

Full Text & Source:http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0201/764399-iasw-abuse-allegations/

The Internet, Online, 19/07/2016

Sample Text:

Two ministers are recommending that the next government establish a statutory Commission of Investigation into events in a foster home in the southeast.Minister for Primary Care Kathleen Lynch, supported by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, made the recommendations in a statement this evening.Ms Lynch said: “We need to be precise and focused on the questions that remain unanswered. I strongly believe it is in the public interest that we establish the facts surrounding vulnerable people who were placed in this foster home.”……….

Earlier, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan ordered an investigation by senior officers into allegations State employees may have acted in a criminal manner when placing vulnerable individuals with a foster family.In a letter to the commissioner last week, the Public Accounts Committee made allegations of possible criminal misconduct by State employees citing evidence that social workers had raised concerns inside the health service about placements in the home.It relates to the case of a young woman, known as ‘Grace’, who spent 13 years in a foster home despite it being subject to serious sex-abuse allegations.Earlier, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan ordered an investigation by senior officers into allegations State employees may have acted in a criminal manner when placing vulnerable individuals with a foster family.In a letter to the commissioner last week, the Public Accounts Committee made allegations of possible criminal misconduct by State employees citing evidence that social workers had raised concerns inside the health service about placements in the home.It relates to the case of a young woman, known as ‘Grace’, who spent 13 years in a foster home despite it being subject to serious sex-abuse allegations…..

The Dáil committee had asked for the actions of the employees to be investigated for allowing vulnerable adults to remain in the home, despite concerns being raised.The TDs had also pointed to the HSE’s receipt of information on the foster family from UK authorities…

Earlier, Chairperson of the Irish Association of Social Workers Donal O’Malley said he is not confident there are enough safeguards in place to prevent another case like that of ‘Grace’ happening again……..

Mr O’Malley said the vast majority of foster care is excellent and has been vetted by both TULSA and the HSE.However, he said there were some unfortunate cases where foster carers were not suitable.Mr O’Malley said the caseloads of social workers were of serious concern and that children in care deserve the best of services but not all those children have a social worker.He said 92% of children in care have an allocated social worker but that still leaves a couple of hundred who do not have a dedicated social worker……

Comment: This is very sad and I find upsetting as I taught kids with intellectual disabilities for years. They are such trusting and loving people but they badly need protecting. People and kids with intellectual disabilities need independent advocacy, outside the Health Service Executive. Every person and child in foster care or residential care must have their own social worker. They should be whistle blower protection for health and care employees to help people in danger.Social workers’ heavy workloads needs to be addressed. These are our citizens, who the state failed.They had no voice, no one to help them and no way of escaping! Why wasn’t their family doctors, teachers, home-help, families, neighbours screaming for help??? God! it is sad that in modern society people look away and no-one at all wanted to get involved. Some people despite living all their lives in care had only a one page entry on their file, disregarded and ignored by their state for years. Who is going to be answerable for this? Will any one lose their jobs? It can not happen again! It is time to have a HSOC like GSOC for social workers, doctors, nurses and all health workers. It must be an independent statutory body.It is to review complaints of HSE and all healthcare staff: administration and medical.  It should examine state medical laws and procedures in relation to citizens’ rights. They should be able to conduct investigations and force individuals to present for interview and receive all state and health files. Full compliance should be mandatory.They should act as advocacy for those in foster or residential care, like a ward of court. 

We will never know the full extent or damage that has been done because of the time lapse and disabilities of the people involved but we can put in measures that it does not happen again.

 

 

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About Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer

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