Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2009 [Seanad]: Report and Final Stages
Jan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
I am disappointed the Minister of State is not accepting these amendments, particularly in view of his comments on Committee Stage.
Language is important in this issue because it involves children. The concept of a child being detained or being in detention has connotations of restraint and punishment. Why not use a more child-friendly term like "placement"? It is a neutral term which reflects that a child has been placed rather than detained.
Children in such cases have very special needs and a relatively small number require the care in question. However, the language used in describing this care is important for the children's self image and how others see them. It can also affect their chances of being able to rebuild their lives. In most cases, the children in question have come from families in which they did not have the same supports most other children have. That is why they end up in such circumstances. We do not want to add to their difficulties by using language which has negative connotations and which may make them feel worse about themselves and cause them greater difficulties. I am disappointed the Minister will not accept the amendment and I urge him to reconsider it.