Children

Child Protection Suffering ‘Perfect Storm’ Due To Impact Of Pandemic

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The 18 months up to June of last year, was the most challenging period for child protection in many years.

That’s one of the findings in the annual report of the Special Rapportuer on Child Protection.

The study was compiled by Professor Conor O’Mahony, who is Deputy Dean at the UCC School of Law, and submitted to the Government.

The report found in the time studied that demand on Tusla and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services exceed the resources available to them.

It says there are a number of areas where further efforts are needed to ensure the State is compliant with international human rights standards in child protection, and includes the provision of special care facilities.

The report notes an increase in the number of beds from 2019 to 2020 from 13 to 18 – however, it says that even if full capacity is reached, which is 26 it is unlikely to be enough.

The report said the reduction in the number of children in homelessness between 2019 and 2020 is not a cause for celebration, and says evidence is continually emerging at the effect the housing crisis is having on children.

On Covid-19, the report described the pandemic as a perfect storm from a child protection point of view.

And said that since the start of the pandemic child poverty increased.