Child protection and welfare systems in Ireland: continuities and discontinuities of the present

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Burns, Kenneth
McGregor, Caroline
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This chapter provides an overview of the Irish child protection and welfare system, and examines continuities and discontinuities between the past and the present. 2012 is chosen as a pivotal change moment around which to critically examine current developments. This year is chosen due to seminal change events which occurred such as a referendum on the rights of the child and the publication of a report that led to the blueprint for the establishment of an independent Child and Family Agency in Ireland. We chart existing histories of child welfare and comment on significant trends and developments. Against the backdrop of this history, we discuss whether, almost 50 years on, the context, appetite for and investment in change, is to be realised in the biggest structural change to children’s services since the development of Community Care under the Health Act in 1970. In undertaking this analysis, we examine five themes: the establishment of a new Child and Family Agency (Tusla); Signs of Safety adopted as a new national child protection approach; changing trends in child welfare as demonstrated by recent statistics, retention rates for social workers in child protection; and dealing with retrospective child abuse disclosures, institutional abuse and Church-State relations.
Child protection , Elderly family , Child welfare , Meithe , Retrospective revelation
Burns, K. and McGregor, C. (2019) ‘Child Protection and Welfare Systems in Ireland: Continuities and Discontinuities of the Present’, in Merkel-Holguin, L., Fluke, J. and Krugman, R. (eds). National Systems of Child Protection. Child Maltreatment, vol 8. Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-93348-1_7
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