‘The children not counted’: reports on the deaths of children in the Republic of Ireland

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Paul Michael Garrett NUI Galway, Republic of Ireland

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In 2010 it became apparent that no reliable data were available on the deaths of children in contact with social workers in the Republic of Ireland. As a result of this lacuna, in 2011–12, the Independent Child Death Review Group (ICDRG) and the National Review Panel (NRP) published official reports tabulating and partly describing these deaths. A close reading of the reports indicates that practitioner involvement is frequently enmeshed in factors associated with neoliberal imperatives connected to unfilled vacancies, related staffing problems and the rationing and curtailment of services. Following the appearance of the reports, an emerging ‘change agenda’, partly influenced by New Labour in the UK, has sought to chart a way forward. Nevertheless, given that the state remains committed to a more embracing programme of intensive neoliberalisation, efforts seeking ‘reform’ are likely to fail.

Paul Michael Garrett NUI Galway, Republic of Ireland

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Critical and Radical Social Work
An international journal