Child protection groups want investigation into foster care failings after child abuse case

CEO of the ISPCC Grainia Long.

Children's charity the ISPCC says it wants to find out if abuse is "systemic" in foster care in Ireland.

There are calls for widespread investigations after yesterday's RTE Prime Time report which found children were left in a west of Ireland foster home, despite allegations of sexual abuse.

At least two children remained in the house for several years, following allegations of abuse against a teenager in the family in 2007.

A prosecution is now underway.

But CEO of the ISPCC Grainia Long says we need to find out if this abuse was part of a bigger problem.

Ms Long said: "It would be deeply unusual for a situation to take place whereby an allegation is made in respect of a foster care setting and all children not to have been spoken with and not have those children removed.

"So they are the kind of questions that need to be answered and I think we need to also understand is this a systemic issue, is this an issue that's happening too regularly or is this a one-off?"

Other child protection groups, such as EPIC - a group working with young people - are calling for a full independent review.

EPIC's director Jennifer Gargan says the major failing in this case is that all children were not removed straight away.

She said: "They failed to act immediately and decisively when the allegations were made. That is really where this broke down.

"They should have taken the children away immediately from those placements and they should not have been returned and that is something that should happen automatically when allegations such as this are made."

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