Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meeting told of 'scandal' of child poverty

The scale of child poverty in Ireland is a “scandal” given “the “prosperity and extravagance that became the norm during the Celtic Tiger years”, the social campaigner Sr Stanislaus Kennedy has said.

At Social Care Ireland’s annual conference in Kilkenny last Wednesday, she said 6,000 young people were in HSE care last year, but there was no “systematic monitoring evaluation of services so we have no guarantee that they are effective and well-run”.

She criticised the lack of information on what happened to young people after they turned 18 and left care. 

She maintained the lack of accommodation or support meant many become homeless as a result.

On the topic “Justice for All our Children”, Sr Stan said: “Ireland has consistently failed to put children’s needs first . . . Despite the fact that we enjoyed unimaginable economic prosperity for over a decade, child poverty was not addressed and more than 90,000 children continue to live in consistent poverty in Ireland today. This means they live in dire or chronic poverty without adequate food or basic comforts like heat.”

The fact that an additional 200,000 children were at risk of poverty was a scandal, she 

She told delegates that society’s attitudes to children would only change if people become empathic and viewed such children as they would their own.