Homeless children numbers very disturbing
Figures released to the Labour Party indicating that almost 800 children ended up homeless and in need of emergency accommodation last year, are very disturbing.
Unfortunately, these figures reflect the failure of childcare services to intervene early enough in the lives of children at risk.
Early intervention is crucial. Once a problem with a child or family escalates and becomes out of control, young people are much more vulnerable and likely to end up homeless. We need services to help prevent these problems before they get to this stage,
While these individual cases have been handled by the HSE as they arise, with most of these children then being placed in some form of accommodation, the fact is that were proper preventative measures in place in the first place, a crisis could well have been avoided in many instances.
Unfortunately our childcare system is beset by a whole range of problems. For example, we know that at any one time there are hundreds of children who are in the care of the HSE, but who have not been allocated a social worker. How can we say that we are looking after these vulnerable youngsters, when we can’t even provide them a caring professional to be their advocate?