TUSLA HAS SPENT €3.6 MILLION IN 2 YEARS FOR 3 CHILDREN IN THE NOTORIOUS ST ANDREW’S WHERE INSPECTORS FOUND CHILDREN KEPT IN SECLUSION IN ROOMS WITH NO FURNITURE, NOT EVEN PILLOWS
I was contacted in 2019 by a family member of a child sent by TUSLA to the notorious St Andrew’s Adolescent Psychiatric Service in Northampton. They hadn’t seen the child in months and were finding it impossible to make contact.
Clare Daly contacted the Children’s Minister Catherine Zappone and the response she got from TUSLA on 3 July 2019 is posted in the comment section below.
A month earlier on 6 June the BBC reported that the unit was been deemed “unsafe” and threatened with closure following an inspection.
The CQC (Care Quality Commission) said patients were not treated “with dignity, compassion or respect” and safety had “deteriorated”.
This latest inspection, the third in two years, found most seclusion rooms did not have basic furnishings.
Rooms lacked items such as a beds, pillows, blankets or mattresses, and records referred to patients as sitting or lying on the floor while in those rooms.
Inspectors found that on one occasion male staff were present when a female patient was changing her clothes.
They said that was “uncaring, undignified and disrespectful to the patient”.
They also found discrepancies between written incident reports, staff recollection of incidents and images of those incidents captured on CCTV. (1)
The inspection followed an exposé by the BBC that included footage of a teenager locked in seclusion, able to touch their parent only through a door hatch at one of its units, has been shown to the BBC. (2)
I highlighted it at the time and contacted mainstream media. No response!
Last year the BBC reported once again on St. Andrew’s.
An employment tribunal found a member of St Andrew’s staff was unfairly dismissed when they discovered he had been a whistleblower at a previous workplace. (3)
A CQC report published in January 2020 found “repeated and systemic failings relating to procedures and clinical governance.”(3)
Skipping ahead to the present.
Newstalk reports today that Tusla has spent nearly €3.6 million on sending three children abroad in the last two years. They don’t report that it’s the notorious St Andrew’s.
Tanya Ward, from the Children’s Rights Alliance, says the practice should end.
She said: “We have heard from children and young people and the families affected – and this hasn’t always been a very positive effect on their lives.
“For the families affected, for example, it means they have to travel to the UK to visit their children.
“This can be very expensive, and it can also mean they don’t get to see their children all that often.”
She said Ireland should be looking at developing those therapies and supports here.
Tusla says out-of-state placements are only considered when the needs of the young person can’t be met in Ireland.(4)
The money given by TUSLA to St Andrew’s 2014-2019 is in the comment section below.
TUSLA GOT 140 REPORTS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE IN JUNE. DATA SHOWS THAT 4% OF THESE WILL LEAD TO A PROSECUTION AND OF THIS 4% ONLY 2% WILL BE CONVICTED
The number of reports of child abuse has reached its highest level in a year.
New figures show reports to TUSLA increased by a third in a single month over the summer.
A select group of people can make what are called mandated reports of abuse to TUSLA.
In May, they made 735 reports of child abuse to Tusla – but this rose to 975 in June, the highest since 12 months before.
Some 51% of them related to emotional abuse and 18% to physical abuse.
In June, Tusla also got 140 reports of sexual abuse and 115 complaints of neglect.(1)
Only 4 per cent of child sex abuse cases reported to the gardaí resulted in a prosecution and a court appearance. Of these alleged child sex abusers who end up before a judge, only 2 per cent are prosecuted. (2)
International research shows that less than 10% of child sex abuse reports are false (3)
Tanya Ward, the chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said the increase in referrals to TUSLA is down to more reports by the gardai during the COVID pandemic.
“There have been less referrals by teachers over the three months of the lockdown,” she said.
“That Was partly due to the fact that children were not in school and teachers who are normally the main people that get to see children every day and get to see if there is a change in behaviour, were not getting to see children in the same way.
“We know the Gardaí actually have made a significant increase in referrals to Tusla.