Dáil hears of serious concerns over safety in Scouting Ireland

Zappone tells Dáil actions of key personnel in safeguarding may have been compromised

Tusla has written recently to Scouting Ireland and recommended an immediate review of the supervision of children involved in scouting.

Tusla has written recently to Scouting Ireland and recommended an immediate review of the supervision of children involved in scouting.

 

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has called on Scouting Ireland to consider the “viability” of continuing overnight scouting trips, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has told the Dáil.

Ms Zappone said Tusla had expressed serious concerns about current child protection procedures in the organisation.

The agency had written recently to Scouting Ireland and recommended an immediate review of the supervision of children involved in scouting.

It also said consideration should be given to the viability of continuing with overnight scouting trips.

The agency also warned that “the actions of key personnel holding a role in safeguarding within Scouting Ireland may have been compromised and consideration may have to be given to this”.

The Minister said she was publishing the the letter which “outlines issues about the implementation of Children First within Scouting Ireland”.

Ms Zappone said parents had a right to know the views of those charged with protecting and safeguarding children, and who work with no other agenda.

Tusla told the chief executive of Scouting Ireland it was imperative to hold a meeting of the board’s management and made a number of other recommendations.

Ms Zappone said Tusla also said consideration should be given to nominate the chief executive of Scouting Ireland as the principle liaison in relation to work on children first.

“A subcommittee should be put in place to review the child safeguarding statement and procedures.”

“An urgent review of the manner in which Scouting Ireland manage current child protection concerns and disclosures should commence.

“There should be an immediate review of the supervision of children involved in scouting.”

“Scouting Ireland should consider the viability of continuing with overnight trips.

“Consideration should be given to ensure the personnel manning the helpline are independent of Scouting Ireland.”

She will be meeting the chief social worker in her department to consider the next steps, but that urgent action must be taken.