The Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10am in Committee Room 1, Leinster House when Tusla and Scouting Ireland come before the committee.
The committee is due to meet representatives from Tusla in the first session and representatives from Scouting Ireland in the second session to discuss governance and child safeguarding policy issues, particularly the letter from Tusla to Scouting Ireland that was published on 27 February by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.
In advance of the meeting, the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Deputy Alan Farrell, said: “Previously, deficiencies in Scouting Ireland have been identified by Tusla and publically highlighted, and as such, it is crucial that the Committee hears from both parties in relation to the issues identified recently.”
Deputy Farrell added: “Tusla is conducting a review of child protection standards at Scouting Ireland, and the Committee believes it is essential to get an insight into the co-operation which is ongoing between both organisations. This is essential in order to ensure progress is being made in improving the process of handling disclosures from children.”
“The expertise which Tusla staff have in the area of child protection is invaluable, and hugely beneficial in terms of safeguarding the best interests of children throughout Ireland. The Committee notes the recent initiatives by Tusla to open a helpline to assist those impacted by these matters.”
Deputy Farrell concluded: “We must work to ensure our children and young people receive the greatest protections possible. This is the utmost priority for all members of the Committee. The Committee echoes the sentiments of Minister Zappone that abuse survivors wishing to come forward should contact Tusla, or An Garda Síochána.”
Committee proceedings can be viewed live here: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/cr1-live/
Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.