Social Workers want an easy life with basic hours and inflated salaries, rather than a difficult life with out of hour’s child protection services and a heavy work load. To suggest that people should be allowed to conceal the rape of children in order not to over burden social workers is simply to allow statutory agencies to replace the oppressive position held by the Catholic Church. How dare social workers try to black mail the Government at this important juncture in Child Protection history. If social workers, many of whom are poorly qualified and lack international best practice qualifications in child protection do not wish to be over worked or worked to their full capacity, it may be time for the Irish government to look to International Child Protection agencies and employ those better qualified to do the job.
SOCIAL WORKERS have expressed alarm that plans to introduce mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse could push over-stretched services towards breaking point.
Under realistic and overdue new laws, failure to disclose information on child abuse will result in sanctions such as fines or jail terms.
In addition, the national code on how to respond to child protection concerns – Children First – will be placed on a statutory footing. This will create a legal obligation for organisations, volunteers or professionals who work with children to report all suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.
The Irish Association of Social Workers yesterday warned the new laws could end up doing more harm than good. “As it stands, the child protection system is not functioning properly. There are significant numbers of children without social workers or care plans,” said association spokeswoman Ineke Durville.
This ridiculous statement by Ineke Durville, is a kin to suggesting that rapists should not be put in prison as we have an overcrowding problem. However, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said yesterday she was confident the child protection system could cope and that placing Children First on a statutory footing would make social services more efficient. The Minister backed by the Fine Gael lead Coalition appeared to face down sectional interests in the need to protect children and other vulnerable members of society.
She also said the alternative to not introducing mandatory reporting was to tolerate a system where there had been on-going non-compliance with guidelines on dealing with suspected abuse or neglect.
The Government has moved to strengthen child protection measures in the wake of the publication this week of the report on the handling of child abuse complaints in the diocese of Cloyne.
The previous government opted not to introduce mandatory reporting on the basis that it could see leaders of the Catholic Church such as Cardinal Sean Brady behind bars for concealing the rape of children.
Surely social workers have a responsibility to encourage disclosure not conceal it and help the rapists
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