Minister Zappone Accused Of Failing To Protect Children

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, has been accused of failing to protect children by ignoring the issue of adult disclosures.

Making the accusation Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs, Anne Rabbitte, said: "Retrospective disclosures are cases where an adult reports abuse that they experienced in their childhood. It is believed that adult disclosures make up a significant number of all child sexual abuse cases. In many cases, the alleged abuser is still alive and active in their community. This is an extremely difficult situation for abuse victims, which is exacerbated by the length of time it can take for a social worker to be appointed to their case.

"In March this year, there were 1,895 adult disclosure files open in Tusla. Of these, 754 were awaiting the allocation of a social care worker.

"As it stands, these cases are being treated as low priority, shoved in the back of drawers and filing cabinets. This is despite the fact that a significant number of the alleged abusers still pose a risk to children. I have heard stories where the alleged abuser is still minding children or coaching a sports team. That is not to mention the considerable distress the victims must feel when their allegations are not handled appropriately.

"This is clearly not good enough, and I am calling on Minister Zappone to take a more proactive approach to adult disclosures."


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