Child Welfare In Ireland

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Child welfare is used to describe a set of services put in place to protect children and enhance family stability. The services include the investigation of reports of child abuse and neglect, foster care, adoption services, and services designed to support vulnerable families so they can remain unhurt. The main belief behind child welfare programs is that, depending on circumstances within each individual case, the interests of the child might be safer by removing children from the care of one’s parents and placing them into state custody. Although removing a child from the situation of abuse and neglect, there are also serious consequences to these actions. Children form a natural bond with their parents even in poor situations and when this…show more content…
A new definition came to light for childhood, and children became a main focus of the State, school attendance became compulsory, changes were made to laws relating to child labour, legislation was created in relation to child protection and infant mortality became a main focus. In 1908 The Children Act was passed, which was significantly important. It covered infant life protection, the cruelty of children, underage smoking, juvenile offenders, reformatory and industrial schools. The act increased the cases in which children could be removed from the home. The passing of this act also showed the direction in which the State was heading. Before independence a nationalist group believed that Ireland would be better off as an independent nation, this was believed in relation to infant mortality, child welfare and public health. 1924 saw significant changes made to legislation relating to child welfare, responsibilities relating to reformatories and industrial schools was given to the Minister of Education rather than the responsibilities remaining with the Prison Service. 1926 saw the introduction of compulsory school attendance under the School Attendance Act, this act increased the age of compulsory education, bringing it from twelve to fourteen. The issue of children in care was dealt with by the Commission on the Relief of the Poor from 1925 to…show more content…
With the Children Act of 1908, a new definition was given to reformatory schools, these schools were no longer for ‘children’ but instead ‘young offenders’. Industrial Schools were introduced to care for children but ended up neglecting children in the same way as the situation they were taken from in the first place. P. Ó Muircheartaigh, the Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory Schools reported that “the children are not properly fed,” which was “a serious indictment of the system of industrial schools run by nuns-a state of affairs that shouldn’t be tolerated in a Christian community” where there was “semi-starvation and lack of proper care and attention.” Due to the neglect that was seen in the Industrial Schools, finding was increased in 1941 and tripled further again in 1945. In 1946 funding increased again but also rules were updated for the running of the schools. Numerous cases of neglect were reported down through the years, most being investigated but the cases were always dismissed; a three-year-old boy Michael McQualter was scalded to death in a hot bath in Kyran’s Industrial School, investigations carried out found the school to be “criminally negligent,” but the case was never pursued by the Department of Education. Another incident occurred in Artane Industrial School, a boy named Michael Flanagan had an arm broken but
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