It's been a draining week. Listening to the catalogue of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Irish state and religious orders has been very disturbing. What has caused me most pain is the response of the HSE, assuring us that it can't possibly happen now as there are safeguards in place.
This is not true. These so called safeguards, of which they speak, consist of a voluntary code of practice called The Children First Guidelines. They have no legal basis and are not uniformly implemented across the sate.
Last summer my son was put at risk by a dangerous therapist working for Enable Ireland, an organisation which claims to adhere to these safeguards. When the risk was exposed; they lied, bullied and hired very expensive legal counsel. No action was taken. Although they have been proven to be in breach of Children First Guidelines, there is no sanction available for this breach. I have no where to go with my complaint.
Last week, just prior to the publication of the Ryan report on Institutionalised child abuse in Ireland, they sent me yet another waste of paper in response to their negligence towards my vulnerable son. I am no longer prepared to engage in a game of paper ping pong with people who do not share a decent moral code. This has to stop.
I've had enough, so I wrote this letter:
Director of Services,
Seamus Quirke Road
May 25th 2009,
I was dismayed to receive a copy of your ‘Protocol for the management of suspected child abuse’ on May 8th last.
The risk, to which my son was exposed, by the lack of adherence to the Children First Guidelines during the dismissal of your speech therapist, has already been established. The time for sending me this document has long since past.
In a week which has seen the publication of the Ryan report on institutional child abuse in this country, it is deeply distressing for me, as a parent, to see that organisations charged with child welfare are still failing our most vulnerable.
Please stop prevaricating, I want you to carry out a full disciplinary hearing on why this was allowed to happen to my son, I want to know exactly how many other children were put at risk. I want cast iron, binding procedures put in place that will ensure this will never happen again.
This is a moral and ethical issue, please stop hiding behind bureaucracy and be big enough to take a stand on child welfare.
I would be grateful if any further correspondence from you detailed only action, not excuses.
I doubt I will get a meaningful response.