5,000 signatures reached
To: Tusla Child and Family Agency
Calling on Tusla to cease implementation of Child Abuse Substantiation Procedures
Tusla Child and Family Agency are due to implement the Child Abuse Substantiation Procedures. From June 2020, these new policy guidelines will permit people under investigation for child abuse, including sexual abuse, to personally interview their alleged victims in certain circumstances.
We call on Tusla Child and Family Agency in conjunction with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to prioratise the following:
(1) immediately withdraw these procedures pending an external committee review.
(2) ask that Minister Zappone appoint an external committee to review procedures in favor of best practice and victim safeguarding prior to any implementation. It is mandatory that this review is done in consultation with victims who wish to advocate on the matter, that their voices are paramount and given due weight.
(3) implement policy moving forward that is victim-centred; where a victims right to privacy, dignity, health and life is upheld at all stages of the investigation process and beyond.
Why is this important?
Tusla’s new Child Abuse Substantiation Procedures will allow in certain certain circumstances for people under investigation for child abuse, including sexual abuse, to personally interview their alleged victims.
The new procedures constitutes inter alia:
• a victims right to privacy and dignity throughout an investigation process being severely undermined by these proposals.
• a complete lack of regard for the well-being of the victim: the new procedures have potential to retraumatise victims.
• a barrier to reporting abuse: it is extremely difficult in any circumstance for victims to come forward with a complaint of abuse. The prospect of having to meet an abuser may have implications on people coming forward with cases of abuse in the future.
• an erosion of child-safeguarding.