Charities Hit Out At HSE Social-Work Plans

Two Irish children’s charities have expressed their concerns about the HSE’s plans to shelve proposals for a dedicated out of hours social work service, because of budgetary constraints.

Barnardos and the ISPCC are both criticising plans which would see the HSE concentrating primarily on providing an integrated service rather than a stand alone out of hours service.

Last month, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors wrote to the Children’s Ombudsman after a 15 year old boy was forced to spend a night in a garda station because no social worker could be contacted.

Norah Gibbons from Barnardos said today that the current service is not up to scratch and that even the most basic child protection services operate on a 24/7 basis.

She said that is the minimum that is required if the HSE is serious about protecting Irish children.