Policy Briefing 3: Responding to the Needs of Troubled Children: A Critique of High Support and Secure Special Care Provision in Ireland
Kenny, B. (2000). Policy Briefing 3: Responding to the Needs of Troubled Children: A Critique of High Support and Secure Special Care Provision in Ireland. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/859
On an accelerating scale over the past five years children and young people deemed to be out of control have been coming before the High Court in order to force the State to meet its constitutional responsibilities towards them. As a consequence the provision of 79 high support and 31 secure unit places is now planned to add to the 44 high support and 5 secure places currently available. This may be, and presumably is, seen as an appropriate if belated response to the care needs of these troubled children. However it begs many questions about the type, quality and extent of our care system for children and young people and, fundamentally, about how policy and provision is determined. In spite of the many newspaper reports of the High Court proceedings and the significance of what is now in the process of being provided for these youngsters — and indeed the cost - the level of analysis and debate has been remarkably limited. The circumstances that have led a growing number of children and young people to become “out of control”, the desirability of health boards having powers of detention, the extent and cost of the proposed provision and the apparent absence of alternative proposals have received surprisingly little attention. This policy briefing is an attempt to redress this and, hopefully, to generate wider discourse on these and other important aspects.