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07/14/2015 12:00:00 AM


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Reilly, James

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Bills

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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
Bills\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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Senator


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Deputy James Reilly

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Deputy James Reilly

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James Reilly

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Snippet Contents:

I have already given the Deputy an international example where what he proposes in this amendment hugely increased the workload of the agency concerned without any benefit to children. If an extra burden can be placed on an agency which is to the benefit of children it is something we would not shy away from doing. However, it has been proven internationally, in the case of New South Wales in Australia, that it does not yield any benefit but merely makes more work because people, paranoid about criminal sanctions, report anything and everything lest they be exposed. The Deputy acknowledged that in Laois-Offaly the issue related to a different problem altogether. There was not a problem with the reporting but a failure to deal with the reports in a way that had been agreed via protocols. The issue has been handled by the agency in a very urgent fashion and the chief operations officer, Mr. Fred McBride, has taken personal responsibility and control of the situation and has done similarly in Louth-Meath.
We are listening to people. The Deputy points out again and again that my predecessor and the Department spoke about an approach not unlike the one he is proposing but they have taken the time to consult and have learned that this may not be the best way forward and could even be counterproductive. We have left ourselves a safety valve in that, if we find our approach is not working, we will review and revisit the situation. We will keep it under review as I believe child safety is everybody's responsibility and I know all Deputies have child safety and protection to the forefront of their minds. They want to see that our children are safe and can enjoy their childhood, that they are well connected, protected and involved in contributing into the future.