As exclusively reported by The Irish Mirror, children have been physically harmed 19 times in the last two years as a result of staff being “restraint” at three special centres for vulnerable minors in Tusla.
According to the Children and Family Services Agency, the special care unit provides safe accommodation for children aged 11 to 17 with “complex psychological and sociological profiles”, reports The Mirror.
Over a two-year period, “significant events” requiring physical intervention by staff at the three facilities were reported 601 times, resulting in 19 injuries.
A HIQA inspection report published earlier this year at Ballydo Special Care Unit in Dublin blamed “staff misconduct and poor practice” for a number of incidents where children in the facility were harmed or put at risk.
It determined that the facility did not have enough staff to provide safe and consistent care for the children, and noted that several residents expressed concerns about staff’s use of physical interventions.
The report also criticized Ballydoud’s handling of abuse allegations, noting there were “long delays” in staff completing investigations.
Figures obtained by the Irish Mirror under the Freedom of Information Act show that in 2021 and 2022, children made 111 complaints about staff, and a further 14 reported incidents of abuse by staff in child protection and social care.
“Whilst each placement is a short-term, focused intervention that can last between three and nine months, due to… complex risk profiles, some children remain in special care for periods beyond what was intended in legislation,” a spokesperson for Tusla said, reports The Mirror.
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