Sunday, 18 May 2008

25% of schools report child abuse

Full Stoty:

ONE in four primary schools has reported suspected child abuse to health authorities, a survey of school child protection staff has revealed. But in a week in which the Health Service Executive (HSE) has been criticised for apparent shortfalls in support for children at risk, teachers have complained that the response and support they get on child protection issues is very poor. The survey found that most school staff with responsibility in this area have had little or no training for the role in the past four years. More than 330 of the countrys 3,300 primary schools took part in the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) survey. Under Department of Education child protection guidelines, every school must have a designated liaison person (DLP) to deal with health services, gardai and other agencies in connection with abuse allegations. The survey found that: One quarter of DLPs have referred an allegation or reported child abuse to the HSE. More than half of them have only been in the position since 2004. 53% have had no Department of Education training for their important role. Two-thirds of those with training thought it was inadequate.

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