The former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte is the new chair of Tusla, the child and family agency. Tusla has responsibility for a range of services including child welfare and protection services, and family support services that are delivered by the Health Service Executive’s (HSE’s) children and family services.
However, the organisation has received criticism over its handling of the false allegations of child abuse against Maurice McCabe and this week has seen Tusla embroiled in a dispute with Scouting Ireland over their highlighting of significant concerns around child protection in the organisation.
Pat Rabbitte joined Ivan in studio to discuss whether or not Tusla is fit for purpose in light of these issues and the shortage of social workers in the organisation.
Pat Rabbitte has been announced as the new chairperson of the board of the Child and Family Agency Tusla. 18th of December.
Mr Rabbitte was appointed by Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, following a selection process by the Public Appointments Service.
He has served as a public representative for 30 years and is a former Irish Labour Party politician.
Mr Rabbitte served as communications minister from 2011 to 2014, and was leader of the Labour Party from 2002 to 2007.
He was also Minister of State for Commerce, Science and Technology from 1994 to 1997.
He has participated in, and chaired, a number of taskforce initiatives and international negotiations.
Minister Katherine Zappone speaking at the launch of an ESRI 'Growing up in Ireland' report | Image: Photocall Ireland
The Department of Children says current chairperson Norah Gibbons will step down on December 31st, when her term of office "expires".
Speaking on the appointment, Minister Zappone says: "I am very pleased with to appoint Mr Pat Rabbitte to be the next chairperson of Tusla.
"I was impressed by the calibre of candidates willing to put themselves forward for this challenging role.
"I am am in no doubt that Mr Rabbitte has all the qualities necessary to lead Tusla to the next stage of its development."
She added: "I am truly grateful to the outgoing chairperson, Norah Gibbons, on completing her term as the first chairperson of the board of Tusla since its establishment in 2014.
"Norah has shown great commitment and determination in this role. I wish her every success for the future."
The minister also recently appointed Anne O'Gara to be the deputy chairperson of the Tusla board, with effect from January 1st 2019.