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Official probe launched into case of teenager left in foster home despite sexual abuse allegations

The case review will be run jointly by the HSE and child and family agency Tusla.

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A NEW CASE review has been launched into the story of a teenage girl with intellectual disabilities who was left in a foster home following allegations of sexual abuse.

The review, commissioned jointly by the HSE and child and family agency Tusla, is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the case of the teenager, referred to as ‘Mary’, in the foster home in the Cork region.

Allegations of sexual abuse were made against a carer at the home in January 2014, reportedly by a relative. Subsequently two other foster children were removed from the home. ‘Mary’ however, who had been living at the home since 2003, remained there until finally being removed in February of this year.

The allegations that were made did not concern any of the residents of the home.

Tusla, who had previously acknowledged their ‘awareness’ of the case, have now launched the review in tandem with the HSE.

The aim of the inquiry is to establish the facts of the case and return with findings, particularly  with regard to “issues of safeguarding and risk assessment” according to a statement.

Announcing the review, new government ministers Finian McGrath (disability) and Katherine Zappone (children and youth affairs) said that it is “important to ascertain the facts of the case before commenting further”.

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The review is expected to take six weeks, with the final report set to be published in full.

This instance of alleged abuse is the third such case to emerge regarding foster care facilities this year.

In January it emerged that a child with severe intellectual disabilities, known as ‘Grace’,had been left in a foster home in the Waterford area for nearly 20 years after the other children in the home had been removed following allegations of sexual abuse.

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