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_imgBUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The owners of a family-run cafe in a leafy district of Hungary’s capital of Budapest had planned to defy pandemic restrictions and open their doors. But they reconsidered after the government increased penalties for breaking the rules. Around 200 restaurants across the country had said they would open up to indoor dining Monday, but the stiffer penalties and a lack of government assistance left many with few options but to wait out the crisis. Hungary’s lockdown, nearing its three-month mark, was extended until March 1 last week. A growing movement is demanding that the government either provide much-needed cash assistance, or ease the restrictions.last_img


first_imgBy Dialogo March 31, 2011 This kind of material is important for us latin americans to understand better how other countries are responding to subjects like security and international humanitarian assitance. I hope to see more articles like this published in Diologo. I read in some newspaper that, despite the tragedy in Japan, there was no looting of private property, what a fine example for the WORLD … Seventeen Latin America countries offered Japan humanitarian aid and manpower following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that so far left nearly 10,000 dead and thousands more missing. Others are deferring to Japanese officials to request clean-up aid when their country is ready for it. It’s the favored course of action, not only out of respect for the Japanese’s organization of the response, but also because uncertainty exists whether soldiers and volunteers should be sent into northern Japan when the threat of nuclear radiation remains unclear. Brazil will donate US$500,000 for humanitarian emergency aid, and per orders of the Japanese government, will give the money to the Red Cross. The non-profit organization plans to use it to buy food, water, medicine, clothing and temporary shelter. “The Japanese government prefers money at this point, and asked that it goes directly to the Red Cross. They have said they don’t need any help with people, or (specialists),” said Alessandra Vinhas, spokeswoman with Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations. Venezuela packed 19 tons of humanitarian aid on a plane in late March and headed for Japan. The plane owned by national airline Conviasa is one of two Latin American airlines that serve Asia. Venezuela’s government also is coordinating with Japan to donate a large quantity of gasoline to areas of the island nation that need fuel the most. “This humanitarian support is from the heart of Venezuela, on behalf of our people and the government of Hugo Chavez, to show solidarity and commitment to Japan,” said Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro in a statement. “The world of today and the future is built upon love and respect. That’s what we’re trying to do.” The Venezuelan aircraft will bring back citizens from other Latin American countries, notably Colombia and Ecuador, following agreements made between Venezuela and neighboring governments that couldn’t orchestrate a flight to Japan as quickly. Brazilian officials have pledged limitless support to Japan, but want to respect that government’s organizational efforts by responding only when asked to. When looking at previous disaster relief efforts in other countries, Brazil has traditionally donated money to U.N.-sponsored relief programs, and has rarely sent its military troops to work in clean-up efforts. Brazil’s National Force for Public Safety, a joint effort of various state and federal public safety forces coordinated by the Ministry of Justice, announced it is ready to send 80 firefighters that specialize in disaster rescue to Japan, 30 “disaster experts” and 30 tracking dogs to aid the Japanese search efforts. The National Force said it will hold off on sending rescue teams until Japanese officials respond. Brazil did not send military troops to Chile following the February 2010 earthquake. Its military did play a major peacekeeping role in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, but Brazil had already 1,000 troops serving in that role since 2004 through the U.N., and simply boosted its presence to 2,000 troops following the earthquake. Over the past eight years, Brazil’s previous president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, placed an emphasis on world hunger, and focused diplomatic response on cash donations directly to international non-profits and the UN response to foreign emergencies. Brazil’s government gave US$345.8 million in emergency relief funds to the UN and large non-profits like the Red Cross last year for Haiti, focused on food and health-related aid. Brazil has a unique connection to Japan. More Japanese have immigrated to Brazil than any other country in the world. Japanese began moving to Brazil in 1908, drawn by the promise of work on coffee plantations at a time when the end of feudalism in Japan drew the country’s economy to a near halt. Japanese immigration to Brazil then boomed following the start of World War I in 1914. More than 1.5 million Japanese immigrants or descendents live in Brazil, most in São Paulo. About 254,000 Brazilian nationals live in Japan, and about 800 were living in the country’s northeast region affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Colombia, Argentina, Mexico offer aid to Japan center_img The Colombian government sent the largest passenger and cargo airplane available to its Air Force to Japan after the earthquake, carrying food, water and iodine to aid Columbians living in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The Air Force plane, a Boeing KC-767 Jupiter, departed from the Military Transport Aviation Command (Catam) in Bogotá. The supplies were for Columbians who wanted to remain in Japan. About 200 Colombians are expected to return with the Air Force team to Colombia next week. “We have made the necessary arrangements for sending a second aircraft, if required, to accomplish the mission,” said Air Force Gen. Guillermo León in a statement to Dialogo. “At this point, the request is that we start with one (airplane).” Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it is in constant contact with the ministries of other Latin American nations to coordinate support as a region for Japan. Argentina has sent an official government doctor to Tokyo to work with Japanese health authorities, and has sent additional diplomats to its consulates in Japan. Mexico has announced it will send humanitarian aid to Japan, and its commander of the Third Naval Zone, Guillermo Torres Colina, has said Mexico’s Navy is ready to contribute. Reports surfaced in Mexican media this week that the Papaloapan ship docked in Veracruz, normally assigned to monitoring the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican territorial waters, would be going to Japan. When asked to comment, Mexico’s Naval press office could not confirm or deny that report. Ecuador’s national emergency department has sent six tons of food and water to the Galapagos Islands after they were hit by a tsunami. The islands, located about 620 miles off Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, were penetrated by seawater up to a third of a mile, merging a lagoon with the sea and damaging homes and fishing boats for most of the 260 families that live there. It has pledged help to Japan, but like most countries will wait for a response from Japanese diplomats to send the aid.last_img read more


first_imgPresident C. L. Max Nikias and Provost Michael Quick headed a delegation of trustees, senior administrators and deans in Washington, D.C. to meet with a bipartisan committee of lawmakers.  The meeting, held in early April, was intended to address concerns regarding higher education, including a proposal for the White House to rate the nation’s post-secondary institutions.President Barack Obama and his administration’s goal to combat the rising costs of a college education and to make education more affordable for students and their families includes a plan to introduce a new college rating system through the Department of Education.In his annual address to faculty back in February, President Nikias discussed what he viewed as shortcomings in the proposed ratings system based on access, affordability and outcomes.“None of these metrics reflect academic value or academic excellence,” Nikias said. “USC wins on outcomes and access, and we use a tremendous amount of resources to fund merit-based and need-based scholarships, to make USC education affordable … [The ratings system] may incentivize the wrong things.”In February, USC and other members of the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit collective of public and private research universities, criticized the plan to draft a new rating system. In a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the AAU said that it would not endorse the “inappropriate” federal rating system. Though the AAU praised Obama’s efforts to make college more accessible and affordable, the institution claimed an official rating system — unlike the ones used by media organizations such as U.S. News and World Report — would contradict “the unbiased and authoritative image” of the federal government.However, aside from a federal rating system, students often look to U.S. News and World Report which provides a widely recognized annual ranking. These rankings are based on 16 measures of quality that are divided into seven key areas, including factors such as undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates and financial resources. The unofficial rankings published by U.S. News and World Report rate the schools against each other, forming a numbered list of top schools, which is different from the rating system the federal government is proposing.The proposed ratings system will not rate the schools against one another or provide a numbered list as U.S News and World Report does, but rather will seek to rate each school individually.This year, USC ranked 25 in U.S. News’s ranking, down two spots from 2014. The latest report has raised doubts among college presidents across the nation, including Nikias, regarding the accuracy of U.S. News’s list in addition to other rating and ranking systems. Nikias spoke to the Washington Post in February about his belief that U.S. News’s calculations fail to factor in important aspects of colleges when compiling their ratings list, such as USC’s dedication to the arts.“Sure, we pay attention to the rankings, because everyone looks at them,” Nikias told the Washington Post.A study released by the American Educational Research Association shows that rankings published by U.S. News can influence where students apply to college as well. Holding a spot on the list’s top 25 can increase the amount of applications a school receives from 6 to 10 percent.The White House’s current system of rating post-secondary institutions is operated through the Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center. The “College Scorecard” on the department’s website does not rank colleges against each other. The database provides information to students about colleges’ affordability and value, in alphabetical — rather than hierarchal — lists, by either searching for a specific institution or choosing from a variety of elements such as majors and location to narrow results.According to the Department of Education, the push for the rating system by the Obama administration comes from the desire to strengthen the value of American college education and the federal government’s investment in student financial aid. The administration would additionally like to direct federal student aid money toward institutions with higher ratings.“U.S. News welcomes Obama’s proposal for a new rating system and hopes the Department of Education makes more robust data on graduate career prospects and more accurate data on student debt loads available,” U.S. News chief data strategist Robert Morse wrote in an email to the Daily Trojan.Comments from the public and higher institutions such as the AAU were requested until February 17, when the Department of Education began to build a framework to revise the metrics and systems of their college databases, which will be available to the public in the 2015-2016 school year.Claire Porter, a sophomore majoring in communication, said that she relied on her own research on USC’s social life, location and academic programs to make a final decision about where to attend college instead of using a ranking.“I didn’t really need a ranking system to decide [on a university],” Porter said.last_img read more