Written answers

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Youth Services

Photo of Mark WardMark Ward (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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131. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if there have been developments, additional supports or funding provided to an organisation (details supplied) following the publication of a report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59155/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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My Department has worked extensively with the Board of the organisation referred to by the Deputy to progress a number of important actions in response to findings of poor safeguarding policies and practice in the organisation in the past. The publication of the report referred to by the Deputy was one part of that process. The actions included:

- a governance and safeguarding review conducted by former Senator, Jillian Van Turnhout, completed in 2018;

- a follow up report on the progress following that review conducted by Brigid McManus, former Secretary General, completed in 2020;

- the introduction of an ongoing requirement for regular updates on governance and safeguarding reforms.

- the commissioning of Ian Elliott, a child protection expert, to carry out a learning review into historical sexual abuse, which was published in May 2020.

- an audit carried out by Mr Elliott in February of this year noteng the ‘positive and impressive’ progress made by the organisation. 

The organisation has adopted revised safeguarding policies in consultation with Tusla. Tusla has expressed its satisfaction with progress made in relation to safeguarding, and relevant training is being provided throughout the organisation. 

On the basis of this positive feedback from independent governance and safeguarding experts and Tusla, and my Department’s ongoing engagement, I am satisfied with the progress and structures now in place.  Safeguarding is now a strong focus and priority for the organisation.  In this context, I was able to continue normal levels of funding in 2021 and I provided €75,000 in extra funding in recognition of the need for additional resources in the national office. 


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