A shortage of social workers is leaving a dangerous backlog of child protection cases according to Galway TD Anne Rabbitte.
The East Galway TD said that figures show that nearly 6,500 child protection cases are waiting to be assigned a case worker.
“It is alarming to read that there are well over six thousand children in the State awaiting a social worker for child protection cases,” she said.
“I understand Tusla will assign an on-duty social work team member until an appointed social worker is in place.”
Of those 6,432 child protection cases waiting for a social worker, more than 1,000 are classified as a high priority.
Anne Rabbitte said that greater consistency in care is needed for children “in these dreadful situations, through no fault of their own”, adding that the government must expedite efforts to hire more social workers.
“It is very disappointing that a ‘High Level Social Work Education Stakeholders Group’ met to work on this process for the first time on January 16th and by the end of March little has been done to change the situation.”
She concluded by saying that more Dáil debate will do little to help children in homes in Galwya and around Ireland who need someone to help them through a difficult time in their lives.