Every single child in the world regardless of race, culture, gender, age deserves to be loved, cared for and kept free from harm and abuse. Children have a right to enjoy their childhood free from violence, injury or abuse at the hands of adults. This right is preserved in law, from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child down to national laws and guidelines which cover all children not just those that are abused and neglected. In 1987 the Department of Health introduced the Child Abuse guidelines because child abuse had become a major social problem. .
According to Mia Kellmer Pringle she lists 'The Need For Love and Security' as a significant developmental need. It provides the basis for all later relationships, a continuous, reliable, loving relationship within the family unit and then with a growing number of others provides opportunities for the child to also form the ability to care and respond to affection. It can give the individual a sense of worth. The development of the personality are dependant on this being met.
Unfortunately in Ireland as with the rest of the world this is not always the case with a significant rise in the cases of child abuse being reported in recent years, this could be due more extensive media coverage, cases such as the Kilkenny Incest Case 1993 and the Roscommon Case 2009 where innocent children were neglected and abused by their own parents who are supposed to love, cherish, nurture and keep them free from harm.
Caroline Kingston from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) said that between 20,000 to 25,000 children are referred to the HSE’s child protection and welfare services every year.
In March 2011 Frances Fitzgerald TD, newly appointed Minister for Children stated that: ‘The importance of protecting, valuing and listening to children has been highlighted in a number of high-profile reports published in recent years. For the first time in the history of the State, this Government has established a Department of Children, in order to prioritise and harmonise the development of effective policies and services for children,’
Michelle Hennessy. pg 1
The Kilkenny Incest Inquiry 1993.
The report of the Kilkenny Incest Investigation, published in 1993 was the first major child abuse case inquiry in Ireland. It examined the circumstances surrounding the continued physical and sexual abuse by the father of his daughter over a thirteen year period, during which the family was known to a number of child protection professionals. It received major coverage in the media, and is generally regarded as having provided the catalyst for widespread overhaul and expansion of the child protection services.
The central recommendations of this report were:
The Child Care Act 1991, is implemented in full.
Introduction of mandatory reporting and child abuse guidelines. A national system for setting and monitoring child protection standards to be put in place. Standardized child abuse registers required.
The Madonna House Enquiry 1996.
Madonna House which was run by the Sisters of Charity closed down in 1995 amid a torrent of allegations about child abuse. The Madonna House Report detailed continuing physical and sexual abuse of children in State and Church care by staff in these homes. The report of the enquiry into Madonna House was commissioned by the Sisters of Charity , who were responsible for the operation of the home until it’s closure in 1995.
The Cloyne Report.
The Cloyne Report, showed that the church failed to protect children from abusive priests in the diocese from 1996 up to 2009.
The Kelly Fitzgerald Case 1996.
Kelly Fitzgerald died in a London hospital resulting from her parent’s brutality and neglect after the family moved to Co.Mayo. The Western Health Board failed to...