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Children First Bill 2014

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Report and Final Stages

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Children First Bill 2014\Report and Final Stages
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Children First Bill 2014

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Report and Final Stages

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Snippet Contents:

I accept the Minister's point about how, at times of scarce resources, we must ensure the provision of adequate front-line services. In this case, however, it involves front-line services where children are being looked after and there is non-compliance.
I accept that the amendment provides for the child protection staff of the agency when it should be the Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA. Has the Minister examined the possibility of extending HIQA’s remit to include this area? The authority has already proved it can exercise discretion, target areas of greatest vulnerability and issue proportionate sanctions at the same time without compromising scarce resources for front-line services. We must ensure the best allocation of the Department’s resources. I know the challenges it faces in providing an adequate number of social workers and affordable child care services, as well as many other constraints. However, the best way to ensure compliance is to clearly state there are consequences and sanctions for non-compliance. Until a child care service faces sanction for not having a child safeguarding statement publicised or up to date, this will not work. I am concerned that we are putting an additional onus on parents to ensure they monitor various institutions. If a safety statement was not produced on a building site or in a factory, management would be liable to face sanctions.