564 adults who were abused as a child waiting for social workers

Updated 16:46

564 adults who were abused as children have not been allocated a social worker by Tusla.

In total, that is 38 per cent of what are known as 'retrospective abuse' cases. They refer to cases when someone who was abused as a child comes forward as an adult.

Minister of State at the Department of Children, Anne Rabbitte, says these figures are unacceptable.

"We know the damage that people who disclose what happened to them and how traumatic it has been.

"To think that they have not been allocated a worker, that has to be a priority for Tusla."

She said it is important that these people are allocated social workers to ensure that "there isn't further wrongdoing being done."

In response to the latest figures, Tulsa released a statement to BreakingNews which said:

"In line with our primary legislative duty, when a person comes forward and makes an allegation about something that they experienced in childhood, Tusla’s role is focused on the safeguarding of children today who may be at risk due to abuse that is reported to have occurred in the past.

"We also seek to share necessary and proportionate information with other protective adults so that they can act to safeguard a child from any potential harm.

"Retrospective referrals are treated in the same way as child protection and welfare referrals. Once the referral is received it is screened and assessed. Cases are then prioritised for allocation to a social worker based on that assessment.

"It is important to note that where a case is awaiting a dedicated social worker, it is actively reviewed by the local social work team leader. Where there is an immediate risk to a child or young person, there is an immediate protective response."

Decreasing figures

The new figures show that overall there has been decrease in cases awaiting allocation.

The 564 retrospective cases that are awaiting allocation at the end of April 2020 is down by 90 compared to March 2020.

In terms of all cases where people are waiting, the highest number of cases are in Dublin South West/Kildare/West Wicklow (950) followed by Dublin North (534), Waterford/Wexford (463), Dublin South Central (442), Louth/Meath(341) and Cork (329).

These six areas account for 71 per cent (3,059) of cases awaiting allocation.

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