Govt Urged To Address 'Shocking Gaps' In Care Of Sexually Abused Children

Fianna Fáil has called on the government to address the "shocking gaps" in the support available to child victims of sexual abuse.

The party's spokesperson on Children, Robert Troy, made the call following reports that some children who have been sexually abused wait up to two years for counselling.

"It is inexcusable that the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, was today unable to answer any questions about how many other abused children are waiting for counselling and for how long," Deputy Troy said.

"The Spokesperson could provide absolutely no clarity on the reality facing children who are confirmed victims of sexual abuse. As it stands, we now have no idea how many child victims of abuse are being denied vital counselling and we have no idea what resources are being directed towards this crucial frontline health service.

"We need to hear from the Minister for Children James Reilly as a matter of urgency. The Minister must immediately outline details of how many known underage victims of sexual abuse are currently on waiting lists for State support. He must explain what resources are currently allocated to services for abused children, what gaps there may be in these resources and what action the Government is taking to address these gaps.

"Two years is an extremely long time in the life of a young child. We cannot tolerate a situation where a child who is brave enough to speak out about abuse is then told that there is no immediate support available to them and they will just have to wait until they get the help that they need. The welfare of extremely vulnerable children must be an absolute priority for any Government. This takes more than just a referendum or promises of change. It must be backed up by frontline services for the children who desperately need help."


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