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Child agency admits it's "aware" of case of alleged sexual abuse at foster home in southwest

A 19-year-old with intellectual disabilities was left behind after other children were removed from the home following the allegation.

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THE CHILD AND family agency Tusla has acknowledged that it is aware of a case of potential foster care abuse in the Cork/Kerry area.

The case came to light yesterday on RTÉ’s This Week programme where it emerged that two foster children were removed from the home by Tusla but that a 19-year-old with intellectual disabilities was left behind for some time following an allegation of sexual abuse being made against a foster carer there.

The teenager, identified by the HSE as Client B, had been living in the foster home in the area since 2003, and was finally removed from the home in February of this year.

“While it is the policy of Tusla not to comment on individual cases we can confirm that the case of the young adult reported on RTE’s This Week programme is known to Tusla,” the organisation said in a statement.

In all cases where child protection concerns are raised they are risk assessed and appropriate protective action taken.  In the case of a vulnerable adult, where Tusla has had previous involvement and where that vulnerable adult is involved with HSE services both agencies work together to try to resolve ongoing care requirements.

“In the case of the young adult referred to herewith this process was initiated and pursued by Tusla with relevant agencies and this ultimately resulted in a placement change to a specialist disability residential placement under the remit of the HSE.”

The agency said that “no allegation of abuse” has arisen in the case of the young adult in question, while the foster carers involved are no longer providing such services.

“Tusla will be undertaking a review of this case in conjunction with the HSE,” the statement added.

The HSE told This Week the concerns were raised with Tusla before 2016. The organisation said the teenager was moved out of the foster home within one week of it being informed of the abuse concerns.

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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