Child Abuse Mandatory reporting and Tusla record on investigating

Rape Crisis network Ireland (RCNI) welcome One in Four’s annual report today (4th Oct 2017). In particular we welcome their figures regarding their child protection reports into Tusla and the outcomes of same. These demonstrate concerning indicators that we may not be ready for the mandatory reporting Minister Zappone announced this week.

Clíona Saidléar RCNI executive director said, ‘a mandatory reporting regime can impose on adult survivors of child sexual violence in a number of ways. We must ensure that the intention of protecting children does not come at a cost to those who have already survived such crimes and trauma and indeed do serve to protect children. How does it impact on survivors’ sense of confidence and control in the world to be subject to mandatory reporting? How does it feel to have that report not then investigated or worse deemed ‘unfounded’? How useful is the information shared with Tusla, at such potential cost, if left un-investigated?

‘Mandatory reporting can only be legitimate if our processes are fit for purpose and treat survivors with respect and dignity. The One in Four figures give rise to concerns which need to be addressed urgently by Minister Zappone as she champions the introduction of mandatory reporting in December.’

One in four revealed today that of the 91 child protection cases reported to Tusla in 2016, in line with Children First guidance, only 9 were investigated. Five cases were assessed to be ‘unfounded’, one was found to be ‘founded’, and three investigations are ongoing.

RCNI Press release
4th October 2017

For further information
Clíona Saidléar
087 2196447