Tag Archives: Tusla

Um

Anyone?

Pat Rabbitte is appointed as new chair of Tusla (The Irish Times)

Pat Rabbitte?

Rollingnews

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone TD and CEO of Tusla Fred McBride at a press briefing in Government Buildings for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in relation to Budget 2018 last November

This afternoon.

The Board of Tusla has today been informed of the decision by its CEO Fred Mc Bride to step down from his role and to depart the organisation at the end of September, 2018.

In a communication issued to staff this afternoon, the Deputy Chair of the Board, Mr Rory O’Ferrall said they had accepted with regret Mr Mc Bride’s decision and thanked him sincerely for his contribution to the organisation…

He added that while operating against a very challenging backdrop, it was widely recognised that Mr Mc Bride and his team had also presided over a period of considerable reform in which several important milestones has been reached in the advancement of child protection, welfare and support services for families in Ireland….

Mr Mc Bride acknowledged the work done by the 4000 staff within Tusla.

He said: “I want to acknowledge the hard working staff of Tusla and their unstinting commitment in the delivery of child and family support services nationally. I also want to thank the members of the Tusla Board for their ongoing support of the entire management team throughout some very challenging periods of my tenure, and to acknowledge in particular the Chair of the Board, Norah Gibbons at this time.”

A Statement from Tusla this afternoon following the stepping down of Fred McBride. who became CEO in February 2016 replacing this guy.

Disclosures Tribunal-related?

We may never know.

More as we get it.

Tusla

Previously: Tusla on Broadsheet

Rollingnews

Bill Kenneally

Last February.

Several men who had been abused by Waterford basketball coach Bill Kenneally held a press conference in the Buswells Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

Kenneally was given a 14-year sentence in 2016, for sexually abusing ten boys aged between 12 and 16 in Waterford between 1984 and 1987.

During the press conference in February, abuse survivors Colin Power and Jason Clancy said they believed gardai were aware of Kenneally’s abuse as far back as 1979.

The survivors’ claims of a cover-up of the abuse by gardai, members of Fianna Fáil, the HSE and Catholic Church are to be examined by a Commission of Investigation overseen by retired Circuit Court Judge Barry Hickson from next month.

Further to this…

This morning, Saoirse McGarrigle, in the Irish Mirror, reports:

The Child and Family Agency has refused to identify paedophile Bill Kenneally in the medical notes of a boy targeted by him…

Kevin Keating asked to see the 1987 file in which he detailed being lured to the pervert’s home, tied up and threatened if he told anyone about the abuse.

Tusla sent it to him – but the sadist’s name was blanked out despite the fact he was jailed for 14 years in 2016 – 29 years after Kevin first named him to a doctor. Mr Keating and other victims of the former basketball coach claim it proves health bosses knew of the abuse in the 1980s.

The Waterford man said: “The medical notes confirm I told her [the doctor] about the abuse. But there are parts of the papers blacked out. Bill Kenneally’s name has been hidden.

“But that should not be redacted. We know it’s his name there and this shows the HSE knew I and others were being abused by him at that time.”

In a medical report dated 1989 a paediatrician wrote:

Kevin was seen by me on several occasions between 22/10/87 and the summer of 1988.

“Kevin was a 14-year-old boy who was alleging sexual abuse by ______.

“One episode which occurred on the Halloween of ’86 when he was brought into a house and tied up.

“He was also making allegations other boys had been approached by the same person.

There is a question of money changing hands in some of these cases.”

Tusla refused to identify paedophile Bill Kenneally in medical notes of boy he targeted (Saoirse McGarrigle, Irish Mirror)

Previously: “We Know The Gardai Were Aware Of His Activities Since 1979”

Tusla CEO Fred McBride

This afternoon.

At a meeting of the Oireachtas committee on Children and Youth Affairs.

Tusla’s Chief Executive Officer Fred McBride is answering questions in respect of a report published by HIQA yesterday.

HIQA’s report looked at the management of allegations of child sexual abuse against adults by Tusla – after it emerged that Tusla had sent a notification containing a wholly false allegation of rape against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe to An Garda Síochána in May 2014.

This false rape allegation was brought to the attention of the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in the same month.

Sgt McCabe wasn’t made aware of this false allegation until January 2016 when Tusla wrote to him and told he was being investigated for this.

Between May 2015 and December 2015, Sgt McCabe was involved in the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation which examined his complaints about poor policing in Cavan/Monaghan and throughout this time, he never knew this false allegation had been documented by Tusla and sent to the gardaí.

It wasn’t until June 2016 that Tusla wrote to Sgt McCabe and told him a mistake had been made.

These matters are currently being examined by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton at the Disclosures Tribunal.

The HIQA report identified 65 cases where the group failed to protect children at “potential risk” of abuse.

The meeting can be watched here.

The report can be read in full here

Related: Tusla identifies failures in 65 cases of kids at risk of abuse (Irish Examiner)

A protest outside Leinster House last January; HiQA’s Mary Dunnion, Phelim Quinn and Paul Morgan this afternoon; Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; Chief Executive, Tusla, Fred McBride

The [HIQA] team found that although 164 of the [Tusla] case files it reviewed were deemed to have been closed, it could not establish that they were.

It also found cases that were inappropriately closed as there were outstanding child protection concerns.

The report states that some children are being left at “potential risk” because of failures at operational level in Tusla to accurately record decisions and actions and to manage under-performance among its personnel.

from a gap between Tusla’s national policy and what is actually happening on the ground regarding the screening of allegations, the development and management of safety plans and Tusla’s communications with people against whom allegations have been made.

…inconsistencies in safety planning practice by Tusla meant that while some children were adequately safeguarded, others at potential risk were not.

It says that “some people were not told that an allegation of abuse had been made against them and others were given only limited information.”

Review finds Tusla must address serious shortcomings (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Ellen Coyne, in The Times Ireland edition, reports:

A government agency [Tusla] has been accused of “punishing” a sexual violence victims’ group after Rape Crisis Network Ireland lost funding worth €300,000 because it questioned how the state was using abuse victims’ personal data.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that Tusla, the child and family agency, said it could not work with the network on a school sexual violence education programme because there was a “conflict of interest”.

It blamed a legal letter that the network had sent, which claimed Tusla was putting victims at risk by collecting and in some cases publishing data it had collected from crisis centres.

…[Independent Senator Lynn] Ruane said that she was extremely concerned by Tusla’s decision to refuse to work with the network on the project and suggested that the charity had been “punished for highlighting a problem”.

Rape charity ‘punished’ after challenging Tusla over data (Ellen Coyne, The Times Ireland edition)

From the Office of the Information Commissioner’s annual report for 2016

Today.

Information Commissioner Peter Tyndall released the Office of the Information Commissioner’s annual report for 2016 – a year which saw requests to An Garda Síochána rise from 183 in 2015 to 459 in 2016, representing a 150 per cent increase.

In the report, Mr Tyndall also says:

I am disappointed to report that my office has noted ongoing and, in some cases, increasing examples of some public bodies failing to meet the statutory requirements of the FOI Act.

For example, later in my report I comment on the number of occasions that public bodies have not responded to FOI requests within statutory timeframes and on the fact that my office noted an all-time high of instances where the request was deemed to have been refused by the public body in the absence of a timely decision. I also report on several instances where my office had to issue statutory notices to ensure compliance with the Act.

Specifically.

In regards to the OIC – under Section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act – being able to order a public body to provide it with any information it believes to be relevant for a review.

It issued two such Section 45 notices to TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency.

In relation to this…

Mr Tyndall writes:

TUSLA was requested to provide copies of the subject records for a review, on 14 April 2016. Despite a further telephone reminder the records were not forwarded to my Office. On 4 May 2016, we issued a section 45 notice to the Chief Executive of TUSLA and the records in question were delivered almost three weeks later.

And in relation to the second case, Mr Tyndall writes…

My office wrote to TUSLA on 13 June 2016 and requested copies of the relevant subject records within ten working days. On 27 June an incomplete set of records was received.

On 15 July, my Office issued a section 45 notice to the Chief Executive, again requesting the relevant records. While TUSLA delivered a further set of records on 29 July, they were not the ones requested. As a result, on 8 August, we took the unusual step of issuing a second section 45 notice to the Chief Executive. We received the correct records on 11 August, two months after the original request.

Read the report in full here

From last night’s RTÉ Investigates programme Chaos In Care

Last night.

On RTÉ One.

Aoife Hegarty, of RTÉ Investigates, presented a report entitled Chaos In Care.

It examined how certain vulnerable children, in the care of the State, have been harrowingly failed by the State.

It also looked at cases from the report published yesterday by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon which looked at the use of Section 12 of the Child Care Act 1991 by An Garda Siochana.

Section 12 of the act allows gardai to remove a child if they believe there is a serious risk to the child’s health or welfare.

In one particular case, Ms Hegarty reported:

In 2011 a young boy living in voluntary foster care – who we’ve named ‘Mark’ – told his birth mother [‘Susan’] he had been inappropriately touched by another, male foster child twice his age who was also living with the same foster family.

‘Susan’ – which is not her real name – discovered ‘Mark’ had made a similar allegation to his foster parent 5 weeks earlier but it had not been reported to the HSE.

‘Susan’ asked to have ‘Mark’ moved from the foster placement while an investigation took place – this did not happen. 

Instead a safety plan was put in place by the HSE. – this consisted of little more than an instruction to the foster parents that the two boys – who had been sharing a bedroom – “should have separate bedrooms and that the [foster] carers should supervise” them closely.

Two months later, the HSE referred ‘Mark’ for assessment by child sexual abuse experts.

The experts concluded that ‘Mark’ gave “a credible account of experiencing inappropriate sexual behaviour by his foster sibling”.

But while ‘Mark’ was assessed, it appears from case notes that his foster sibling was not.

Over the following months ‘Mark’ displayed sexualised behaviour and ‘Susan’ repeatedly reported this to the social work department.

[‘Susan’ said: “He was using his teddy bear to, pushing it up against his genitals, it was like he was imitating what had been done to him. Yeah he was saying ‘touch me you cunt’, he tried to kiss his older brother, he put his hand on his inner thigh and tried to kiss him in an adult way.”]

‘Susan’ believed her concerns were not being taken seriously by social workers so she reported the matter to the Gardaí asking them to investigate. 

In fact cases notes seen by RTÉ Investigates show that An Garda Síochána were “…quite irate…” at the management of Mark’s case by the HSE social work department – stating that the Gardaí…. “Would have a different view of child sexual abuse…” The HSE decided to leave ‘Mark’ in the foster home despite his birth mother’s concerns.

Almost 3 years later… ‘Mark’ made a second allegation – this time to a TUSLA staff member that he was being punched by the same older foster child AND by an adult son of the foster family.

The foster parents were again advised by the social work department to “increase supervision” of the boys and ‘Susan’ was informed about the allegation.

In late 2015 TUSLA applied to the courts for a full care order for ‘Mark’. 

As part of the court process ‘Susan’ was required to produce two psychiatric assessment reports carried out on the state of her mental health. ‘Susan’ agreed.

But what ‘Susan’ didn’t understand was that she would be personally billed by her doctor for the reports – €500 for the first report and €300 for the second one

On one occasion she was forced to take out a loan from her credit union to cover the cost.

In an initial statement to RTÉ, TUSLA said it “…does not require individuals to undertake psychiatric assessments at their own expense…”

However when we went back and asked TUSLA to explain why ‘Susan’ ended up paying  her doctors bill, a spokesperson said they “…cannot comment on individual cases…”

Last year the court ruled that ‘Mark’ will stay in care until the age of 18.

‘Mark’ continues to live with the same foster family to the present day – along with the older child alleged to have previously abused him.

Watch Chaos In Care in full here

This morning.

It’s being reported that a report by the Government’s Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon (above) on Ireland’s child protection system – looking at 5,400 cases, from 2008 to 2015, where gardaí removed children from their parents under Section 12 of the Child Care Act – is to be published.

It will be published by Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll.

Section 12 of the act allows gardai to remove a child if they believe there is a serious risk to the child’s health or welfare.

It’s being reported that both Tusla and the gardaí are criticised in the report.

Further to this.

Aoife Hegarty, of RTÉ Investigates, spoke to Audrey Carville on Morning Ireland earlier, ahead of her own report on the matter this evening.

Ms Hegarty said, in addition to a report on Mr Shannon’s examination, she’ll be looking at “disturbing revelations” concerning a boy in the south east of Ireland.

Ms Hegarty said:

“We’ve been following a number of child protection cases. They include a case that’s currently before the courts in which our child protection services again come under the spotlight. In terms of the actions that the Child Family Agency Tusla has, or indeed hasn’t, taken in terms of vulnerable children.

We also examine another case which we came across again a child was left in a foster placement, despite allegations of sexual abuse and we’ll show various documentation from that case which we’ve seen and lastly, we’ll feature new revelations on the quality of care provided by child protection services in the south east.

“I suppose by now we’re all well familiar with the very sad story of Grace, that young woman with profound intellectual disabilities who was left in a foster home in the south east for 20 years, despite serious allegations, a woman who was recently awarded over €6million in the High Court.

But tonight, we reveal yet more disturbing revelations from the Waterford area. This time in relation to the care provided to a young boy. In all, the programme raises very serious questions for our child protection authorities and whether, in all cases, they’re functioning adequately.

RTÉ Investigates is on RTÉ One at 10.35pm this evening.

Call for cultural change in child protection system (RTE)

Chief Executive Officer of Tusla Fred McBride

You may recall how a false allegation of child abuse against Sgt Maurice McCabe was circulated by Tusla.

Further to this…

[Chief Executive Officer of Tusla] Mr [Fred] McBride later issued a personal apology to Sergeant [Maurice] McCabe over the mistake, but now says he has never experienced such “unprecedented” levels of scrutiny in over three decades in social work and that it is difficult for Tusla employees not to perceive this as “hostility”.

Adding that he has “no problem” with scrutiny, Mr McBride said so much scrutiny at the same time is acting as a distraction and that there had been some hysterical reaction to Tusla’s involvement in the controversy.

He was speaking at the launch of Tusla’s Child Protection and Welfare Strategy 2017-2022 which provides a roadmap to streamlining services offered by the agency and ensuring consistency of service provision throughout the country.

Previously: A ‘Failure To Delete’ Error

Charleton Schedule

Tusla inquiries are a ‘distraction’ says chief executive (Ciaran D’Arcy, The Irish Times)