Does Tusla undervalue the positive role of grandparents in a child’s life?

Tusla, the statutory organisation that is our state’s ‘dedicated’ Child and Family Agency, has come under the spotlight again; and, unsurprisingly, it’s another negative tale featuring a massive cluster feck-up!

  Surely there must be some positive Tusla-related stories out there? I mean, we never get to hear about those working on the frontline, such as the lovely lady down the road who works tirelessly to help kiddies in need of foster placement; or the man who guides parents through education and encouragement. We never hear about the excellent family resource centres dotted around the country who offer support and guidance. Why is that?  I know there are good people working within Tusla!

  Now for those who are familiar with the agency, you’ll know it was established in early 2014 under the Child and Family Agency Act 2013. One of Tusla’s remits, (among others), under Section 8 of this act, states they ‘support and promote the development, welfare and protection of children, and the effective functioning of families.’ 

  Given this obligation, one would have to ask, why, according to a report in last week’s Daily Mirror, a 9-year-old Tipperary boy who was, it appears, living within a ‘functioning’ family, albeit not with his parents (whom, for whatever reason could no longer care for him) but with his Nana and Granddad where he was “cherished, well educated, well looked after –all of which was testified to by Consultants, his Principal, his local GP” – was quite literally snatched away from his devastated grandparents?

  Furthermore, a separate report in The Irish Examiner states, this little boy, who must be terribly confused and traumatised, ‘is now living in another county with non-relative foster carers.’  

  Now while there are many reasons as to why a child may need to be placed in foster care, I have to say that the alleged one given by Tusla was that the grandparents did not meet certain criteria; outlined as follows – ‘Applicants are of an age that ensures there is a reasonable expectation that they can provide adequate care for the child in the future.”

  Now the incendiary word here is ‘age!’ The couple, who are in their mid-60s, are apparently deemed to be too old, over the hill, languishing in God’s waiting room and have effectively got one foot in the grave! This is an absolute disgrace; this is ageist…shame on Tusla!

  Didn’t any one of your 4,000 staff read their employer’s website, (probably developed with the help of the impressive €600m operational budget, and, from the confines of their plush, state-of-the-art, ivory towers in Dublin city), and take account of the bullet point where your remit smugly trumpets to have ‘children at its heart, and families (are) viewed as the foundation of a strong healthy community where children can flourish.’ Anyone? No?

  Now in its second year operating outside of the HSE, Tusla is doing great work; however, in its arrogance, it would appear to view me, as a grandparent, as being older than dirt and ready for the scrapheap. Therefore, I would question the credibility of their ridiculous, comedic and bloody-minded organisational  culture, which, it has to be said, in some cases is useful but in others, as in the removal of an apparently happy, healthy, well-adjusted child from a reportedly functioning and loving  family situation, could be deemed to be dictatorial at best, cruel and unusual at worst! 

  Someone has got to be made accountable. I understand Tusla is still in its infancy, however, its CEO, Mr. Fred McBride, while delivering the opening address at the annual Social Care Ireland conference in Kildare recently, said his agency’s “default position” should be that “we are helping parents to take responsibility,” for their lives; but, given last week’s atrocity, it appears the unique, loving, trusting, nurturing and positive impact that grandparents can have on the wellbeing of their grandchildren is, according to Mr. McBride’s guidelines, surplus to requirements.

  To undervalue the role of grandparents, is, in my view a grave injustice and Tusla needs to get its act together…fast!

To hell with social etiquette – let’s out those gropers!

Like a lot of women, I’ve been groped on public transport, in a tightly-packed bar and on a dance floor, etc., and, like a lot of women, in the interest of keeping the peace, I’ve put up with it.

  Once, during my first marriage, I discreetly removed the hand of a slimeball former in-law – whose wife was standing nearby – from my boob!

  So, this week, when I read how journalist Aoife Kelly disclosed she’d been “groped on public transport,” and “froze” rather than confront the creep, I totally empathised with her.

  Why is it that some men and women, only some mind, I stress not all, feel they have a right to maul and disrespect another person’s body? I’ll tell you folks, this sexual predation seems to be a disturbing phenomenon and, in the future, if someone decides to physically invade my space by putting their lurid, filthy paws on any of my body parts, without my permission, I will no longer bear the ordeal in silence; instead I will immediately and audibly publicly confront them for the shameless, sexual marauder that they are!

Egotistical ambulance chaser too stupid to be behind the wheel

I have two words for the 24-year-old woman whom, in an effort to avoid rush-hour traffic, tailgated an ambulance as it manoeuvred a sick patient through Dublin last week, and they are SELFISH IDIOT! This moron’s despicable and irresponsible actions – when approached by already under-resourced Gardaí regarding her close proximity to the vehicle, she responsed by  maliciously lying and deceiving, saying her ‘cousin was in the back of the ambulance’ –  resulted in the kind-hearted Garda giving her an escort to James Connolly Memorial Hospital.

  While emergency service crews are trained to drive and take evasive action in certain traffic situations, this dope clearly is not. Her actions were self-serving and egotistical and showed no regard for other road-users, or indeed any sensitivity for the poor person being rushed in for treatment; whom, by the way, she confessed was a total stranger to her.

  Some people are too stupid to be behind the wheel!