The Fianna Fáil party are calling for a major reform of the system of legal representation for children.
According to reports it is understood that people working as guardians-ad-litem are being paid up to €125 an hour. The Child and Family Agency TUSLA claim that they had paid over 30 million euro for guardian-ad-litem services last year. The findings have led to Fianna Fáil’s spokesman for Children, Robert Troy stating that this is an example of public money being poorly managed.
Mr Troy said: “It is the State that pays it and one year alone in the last number of years, €30m was spent in legal fees at a time when we don’t sufficient social workers working on the coalface to prevent problems escalating to such an extent that they have to come to the courts”. Mr Troy added: “It’s just not right and we need to refocus our energies and priorities to ensure that the money is being spent in the relevant areas.”