Thirteen Irish children died who were known by social services or in state care last year
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Thirteen Irish children died who were known by social services or in state care last year

THIRTEEN children who were either in state care or were known to social services died in Ireland last year.

Three of those deaths were as a result of suicide.

The National Review Panel produced their annual report which also showed that one child died due to an accident, eight died from natural causes, while one died of an unknown cause.

Two of the children were in care at the time of their deaths while the other 11 were in contact with social services.

A review of the deaths has since taken place and has shown that some of the deaths displayed evidence of sub-standard practice on the part of the care workers.

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While there were examples of good practice - in two cases where children died as a result of serious illnesses - social work with some others was shown to be slow and fragmented.

Review chairwoman Helen Buckley said that some reports of concern about the children were given a classification that was less serious than what was warranted.

This was particularly true in those cases where children were at risk from their own behaviour or from the effect of living in adverse circumstances.

Assessments on the children were reportedly, at times, rushed and inadequately carried out.

What was most evident from the report, though, was the deficits in services for mental health and for care for children with autism.

The report stated that the responsibility for protecting children fell to the wrong agencies, causing a dissolving of responsibility of sorts.

While thirteen deaths is certainly a tragic statistic, the toll marks a decrease from the year before, where the number was 22.

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