Call for action as children in Direct Provision not adequately protected
Barnardos has welcomed today’s stark report Safety and Welfare of Children in Direct Provision published by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, and welcomes that TUSLA and the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) have accepted in their entirety the recommendations in the report.
The report provides a detailed insight into how children living in Direct Provision accommodation in Ireland are not being afforded acceptable safety and protection services.
Speaking after the official launch of the report Suzanne Connolly, CEO Barnardos said: “While we are very welcoming of the White Paper on Direct Provision that was published late last year, and look forward to its implementation, this report today highlights the need for immediate and effective monitoring and controlling of risks. These children, many of whom have already suffered trauma in their lives, cannot wait three years until recommendations in the White Paper are implemented.
“Attention needs to be given to the particular vulnerability of the children and their families, the risks they experience in their environment and their ability to seek support and raise concerns. There is an inherent vulnerability to children and parents living in institutional care and a serious risk to child development and family well-being the longer they stay in accommodation that is unsuitable.
“Barnardos supports many families in Direct Provision across Ireland and we understand the importance of families being offered a choice of services for support, and not just those from Government agencies. The lived experience of many of these families mean that they can be reluctant to trust state bodies at the outset. A culturally sensitive service response with a commitment to child protection and opportunity to feedback, must be considered in the short-term so that we can adequately protect and support all children currently living in Direct Provision.”