Ryan Report and Implementation
The Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (The Ryan Report) was published on 20th May, 2009. The Report included 20 recommendations and focussed on Government Departments and institutions responsible for services in the period in question.
Following the publication of the Report a detailed Implementation Plan was prepared and published in July 2009. The overall aim of the Plan is to make a difference to children’s lives by addressing past failings and putting measures in place to achieve better outcomes in the delivery of services to children and families. The Government committed to the full implementation of this Plan which sets out a series of 99 actions designed to:
- Addressing the effects of past abuse;
- Developing and strengthening national child care policy and evaluating its implementation;
- Strengthening the regulation and inspection function;
- Improving the organisation and delivery of children’s services;
- Giving greater effect to the voice of the child;
- Revising Children First, the national guidance for the protection and welfare of children and underpinning the guidance by way of legislation.
Additional funding of €24m has been provided to date to implement the plan. €15m was provided in 2010, the majority of which was allocated to the Health Service Executive to progress various actions, in particular the recruitment of additional social work staff. Funding was also provided to the Health Information and Quality Authority to allow for the commencement of work on standards and inspections of child protection services and to the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to allow for the recruitment of a specialist in alternative care and child protection to inform the work of the Office / Minister.
The initial allocation of €15m remains in the allocations of the relevant agencies in the current year. A further allocation of €9m was also made to provide for implementation of actions specified for 2011.
Ryan Monitoring Group
Implementation of the Plan has been overseen by a High Level Group chaired by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The Group includes representatives from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the HSE (now Child and Family Agency), Health Information and Quality Authority, the Irish Youth Justice Service, the Department of Education and Skills and An Garda Síochána. In May 2011 a representative from the Children’s Rights Alliance was invited to join the Group in order to ensure the inclusion of the voices of children and civic society.
Publication of the fourth and final monitoring report
The fourth and final report of the monitoring group has been approved by Government and was laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 13th March 2015. A copy of the report may be accessed below:
The Implementation Plan outlined a very necessary programme of actions for the various State bodies involved in the provision and oversight of services for children, and considerable progress has been made. However, the Monitoring Group has expressed concern that 5 of the 99 actions are not incomplete. While the Monitoring Group has now been stood down, and will not be producing any further reports, in light of the Government’s commitment to fully implement all of the recommendation of the Ryan Report, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has undertaken to provide the Government with updates on the outstanding actions until all the outstanding actions are complete.
Previous Progress Reports
Three previous progress reports have been prepared, presented to Government and subsequently laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas in 2010, 2011 and 2012. These reports may be accessed via the links below: