Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said resolving the crisis affecting Tusla “under pressure” is not as simple as “signing a cheque or a statutory instrument”, reports The Mirror.
In a week-long debate on children’s safety, mental health and well-being, Mr Varadkar said the system was under pressure because “there are just more children than in the past whose parents aren’t able to look after them”, reports The Mirror.
A report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) earlier this week found that many children referred to child protection and social services in the Dublin South West Kildare West Wicklow area had not been assigned a social worker.
Some children who were brought into the center because of severe anxiety had been on waiting lists for months.
A separate report raised concerns about the number of minors missing in Tusla’s care.
The Taoiseach stressed several times during a media briefing this week that the 2024 budget will focus on poverty and child well-being.
When asked what his government could do to help Tusla, he admitted that the service was under pressure.
“There are lots of very good things about being a child in Ireland. But there are also huge deficits as well. No politician is unaware or unaffected by the fact that so many people and parents can’t get the therapies that their children need. [There will be] additional placements in healthcare professions to train more people so we can have more resources in the years ahead,” he said, reports The Mirror.
“Tusla is under a lot of pressure. There are just more children than in the past whose parents aren’t able to look after them anymore and the increasing issue of migrant children and unaccompanied children arriving into the state that need our help. That is a real challenge. It is something that we are very much across,” he added, reports The Mirror.
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