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1 entry for R O’Flaherty


In a separate submission replying to O’Flaherty’s report, the Manager of St Joseph’s Residential Home in Lower Salthill, Br DE Drohan, made the following observations on the reasons why the children were in residential care: The family structures and environment from which these children come from cannot supply the physical, emotional and psychological needs of the child. Most of the parents are very inadequate. Relationships between the parents are shallow and in some cases they are only co-existing. The relationship between the children and the parents before coming into residential care was often shallow and of little therapeutic value. This should have been very clear to Mr. Flaherty. We fail to see why it was necessary to ask this question. We can state that the group residential setting has helped improve the child/parent relationship. It is true that if long term case work backed up with in-depth social services had been given to these families there is the possibility that some of the children would not have come into residential care. But the hard fact must be faced that many of these parents are so damaged psychologically that they cannot give their children the love, concern, security and support that they need....We agree that every effort must be made to maintain the contact between the child and his parents. The parents should be allowed to visit the child frequently in the residential setting. Also the child should be allowed to visit his natural family frequently. The decision for this must rest with the professional child care worker after consulting other interested agencies. Serious ‘Stress’ can be put on the child who visits a home where the parents are suffering from psychiatric problems or where there are alcoholic parents / or a parent. This ‘stress’ can cause much disturbance to the child and retard the residential group home therapeutic programme. This is a point often missed by social workers.240

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