first_imgWaterford Childcare Committee Board members Rena Cody and Derek O’Byrne pictured with TÚSLA Area Manager Jim Gibson, Minister of Children and Youth Affairs Dr. James Reilly, TD, Mayor of Waterford City and County Councillor James Tobin, Ciara Conway, TD, Waterford City and County Manager Michael Walsh, Waterford Childcare Committee CEO Rose Murphy pictured at the “Working Together For Children” event at the Dunhill Multi-Education Centre, Dunhill – David Clynch PhotographyNo Garda checks on Limerick fosterers. TÚSLA Area Manager Jim Gibson. David Clynch – PhotographyCHILDREN in foster care in Limerick have been left at massive risk with 146 people either fostering or living with them who have not been approved by Gardaí.A report from HIQUA, the health services watchdog, highlighted significant shortfalls in the service, with 30 foster parents and 116 people over the age of 16 in foster homes that were not Garda vetted.Inspections also revealed that allegations of abuse or neglect were not being managed correctly and in a timely fashion, there was a shortfall in recruitment and therefore in the number of foster carers and no social workers allocated to support foster parents in many cases.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The report states that “not all allegations were comprehensively assessed. There was a system for formally notifying the foster care committee of an allegation of abuse, but not all allegations were reported to the committee and those which were notified, were not notified in a timely way”.A team of eight inspectors visited foster homes in the Mid West last March and their findings showed three areas of major non-compliance. These were in relation to safeguarding and child protection; supervision and support and reviews of foster carers”.The report states that inspectors also found major problems with supervision and support. 30 general and six relative foster carers had no social worker assigned to them, while the majority had not received the recommended formal supervision.“There were seven foster care households without a link worker who also had children who were without an allocated social worker, which posed a significant risk. The frequency of home visits to these foster carers was insufficient.“Where foster carers were allocated a social worker, there was not a sufficient level of home visits to ensure supervision and support to foster carers. Records of discussions between foster carers and social workers following home visits were of mixed quality. There was no out-of-hours service available to meet the needs of foster carers.”Crucially, the report discovered that the majority of reviews “did not contain evidence that the views of the child were sought”.In response to a query from the Limerick Post as to whether Gardaí vetting was completed in the six months since the report was published, a spokesperson for TUSLA said: “Garda vetting is actively being progressed for foster carers and those over 16, where necessary. Additionally, there is a system in place to alert staff when updated Garda vetting is due”.Tusla chief operations officer Jim Gibson said that HIQA inspection reports were an important measurement tool and allowed them ensure that their services were continuously improving and were of a high standard.“The report highlighted excellent practice in areas such as training and the quality of assessments of foster carers. There were also a number of areas that require improvement such as supervision and the timeliness of reviews. These areas are being actively addressed through a comprehensive action plan which has been submitted to HIQA.“The actions in the action plan will be closely linked to Tusla’s major transformation programme which will enhance many aspects of the agency, including organisational culture, HR strategy, governance systems, and further corporate functions.” When the Limerick Post contacted HIQUA, a spokesperson could not say whether Garda vetting had taken place in the six months since the inspections.Limerick Labour Party TD Jan O’Sullivan said the report raised serious concerns.“I am particularly concerned that there was no Garda vetting of family members in many cases. It is just not acceptable that vulnerable children are living in homes where no Garda vetting has been carried out on people living in that household.She said the report confirmed the acute shortage of social workers which was an issue she has been campaigning on.“There is an urgent need to recruit more social workers and to put measures in place to retain those already in the service. As well as a shortage of social workers, there is also a shortage of foster carers in the Mid-West.”Deputy O’Sullivan added that “while it is encouraging that an action plan has been put in place and we are fortunate to have so many dedicated and caring foster families, it is essential that the issues of vetting and shortage of social workers are given urgent attention”.Visit the Limerick Post News section for similar news. Linkedin Print Previous articleLimerick public transport to drive anti-racism messageNext articleLimerick Rose Kayleigh Maher makes finals Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Email NewsNo Garda checks on Limerick fosterersBy Bernie English – August 18, 2017 1353 center_img Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgOil price crash pushing independent U.S. producers to the brink of bankruptcy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):When the 2014 to 2016 oil and gas price collapse took hold, a large number of independent producers found themselves in dire straits. If prices do not rebound quickly in 2020, the industry could be facing a similar situation, or worse.During the two-year price downturn, producers who had overspent in an effort to expand were faced with suddenly overloaded balance sheets and high breakeven prices. That left many dealing with the prospect of bankruptcy, and at least 70 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2016 alone. Producers now have far lower breakeven costs, but a number still have damaged balance sheets dating back a half-decade. Prolonged exposure to prices in the low- to mid-$30 per barrel range could push many over the edge.“If prices remain depressed below $40 per barrel for more than a few weeks, we will likely see a repeat of 2016,” Haynes and Boone LLP Partner Buddy Clark said. Haynes and Boone has kept a tracker of producers that have filed for bankruptcy since 2015, a total that stood at 208 in December 2019. The 2019 total of 42 was the highest in three years, and Clark said the number had already increased in the opening months of 2020 even before the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia sent prices crashing March 9.There could have been more bankruptcies in 2015 and 2016, but there was a saving grace: banks and other funding sources were willing to pump capital into the sector, keeping a number of producers above water. Those sources have now dried up, leaving independents with fewer options.“For those producers still standing and faced with near-term debt maturities, there is less access to capital now than there was in 2016, with fewer options to restructure, other than filing for bankruptcy court protection,” Clark said.A possible exit route for struggling companies — being acquired — appears to be blocked by the price crash. Producers that have made acquisitions were frequently punished by investors before prices lost double-digits per barrel overnight; now, very few expect to have the free cash flow to make such a move.[Mark Passwaters]More ($): Oil price collapse driving more producers to brink of bankruptcylast_img read more


first_img Sharing is caring! Share Share LifestyleRelationships Are you stuck in a semi-happy marriage?. by: – June 8, 2011 48 Views   no discussionscenter_img Tweet by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Manage Your LifePhoto: ThinkstockThanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards, and now Anthony Weiner, infidelity has been making headlines—and people are reexamining their own relationships.The Pew Research Center recently found that 40 percent of Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete. Another recent Pew study found that Millennials (people age 18 to 29) say they think being a good parent is way more than having a good marriage.Once considered an imperative of sorts, traditional marriage is getting a second look—and research suggests that it may be coming up short. Instead of considering themselves to be happily married, some people are discovering that they’re only “semi-happy,” and their quest for fulfillment can lead them to extramarital affairs and divorce.A semi-happy marriage is one of low conflict, low passion, and low satisfaction. “One minute, you love the stability and contentment. The next minute, you think it’s not the right marriage, and there are flaws in the marriage that are serious, even though there are also great things about the marriage,” says historian Pamela Haag, author of “Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules.” In other words, “one minute you can’t imagine staying, the next you can’t imagine leaving,” Haag says. “It’s these kinds of marriages that are ‘low-conflict’ but not all that satisfying that contribute the lion’s share to divorce court each year.”Her own 13-year-long marriage almost fit the bill. “Often, in my own case, I really can’t tell if my marriage is woeful or sublime,” she writes in her book. “Maybe I’m just so profoundly content that it feels like unhappiness, because nirvana is dull in this way, it lacks frisson.” (She adds that she thinks her husband is “an amazing sport, and brave, to let me write about this topic of mixed feelings at all, even though a good number of husbands and wives have mixed feelings.”)Boredom can also cause major marital problems. A national survey of 3,341 people by advice website Good in Bed and Kristen Mark of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction found that 25 percent of people are are bored in their current monogamous relationship, and another 25 percent admit to being “on the brink” of boredom.“Boredom is basically like an attack on a relationship’s immunity system,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, founder of Good in Bed and author of “Love in the time of Colic: A New Parents’ Guide to Getting It On Again.” “It’s not a coincidence that a fifth of respondents admitted to being unfaithful to their partner as a result of being bored.”While most of the women Haag interviewed said they felt lonely in their semi-happy marriages, men told her that they felt “trapped” or “penned in.” It didn’t seem to matter if they married “too young” or waited until they were older; what mattered was what people expected from their marriages. And for many, the traditional blueprint that their parents followed is simply no longer a good fit.“It’s sometimes said that marriage is on the decline because our expectations are too high,” says Haag. “I think it’s that our expectations for marriage may be too low—such that single people feel, perhaps rightly, that there isn’t much that marriage would add to their lives.”“My generation—people in their 30s, and 40s, and early 50s—are perhaps caught betwixt and between the old romantic ideals and the new post-romantic expectations,” she adds.Haag emphasizes the fact that she’s a historian and not a marriage therapist, and says that she does not “endorse a particular marital style.” In her book, she explores several suggestions for “forging a third way between melancholy persistence and divorce,” ranging from slightly outside-the-box (rewriting your vows to more accurately reflect your life as it is now, for instance, or sleeping in separate bedrooms) to the extreme (redefining marriage as a temporary parenting agreement or giving the green-light to discreet extramarital affairs, among other things.)Even so, people can still end up feeling only semi-happy. “There’s a part of your soul that isn’t nourished in marriage, and it’s too big a part to live without,” Haag writes. “You’ve tried, but you fear that you’re in the wrong marriage, however wonderful your spouse may be.” Sharelast_img read more


first_imgManchester City are to consult with supporters over a possible redesign of the club’s badge, the Barclays Premier League leaders have announced. City have had three major badges since the 1930s and adopted their current crest in 1997. Fans will be asked to fill out a questionnaire with a dedicated consultation space and exhibition being set up at the Etihad Stadium for the next four weeks. City chief executive Ferran Soriano said: “The badge is the most visual representation of Manchester City and is so central to our heritage. We are looking for our fans to share their views as to what they consider to be the most authentic symbols of the club.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more