Written Answers. - Child Abuse.

Alan Shatter

Ceist:

596 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children within each health board alleged to be victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect whose family circumstances and situation is currently being assessed; if he will detail, in respect of each category, how soon an assessment commenced after a report is made to the health board alleging such children to be at risk; and the average time within each health board for the completion of such assessments. [20088/00]

Alan Shatter

Ceist:

597 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the numbers of children presently in each health board area who are alleged to be victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect and who are presently awaiting assessment; the number of such children within each category who have been awaiting assessment for more than three months but less than six months; more than six months but less than 12 months, more than 12 months but less than 18 months, more than 18 months but less than two years and for more than two yeas; and his views on whether the children awaiting such assessment are presently at risk. [20089/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 596 and 597 together.

The following is the position in respect of each board excluding the Eastern Regional Health Authority regarding the number of children within each board alleged to be victims of abuse whose family circumstances and situation are currently being assessed. Information from the Eastern Regional Health Authority is not yet to hand: I will forward it to the Deputy when available.

Health Board

Sexual Abuse

Physical Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Neglect

Total

MHB

8

n/a

n/a

n/a

8

MWHB

89

72

72

170

403

NEHB

188

120

53

192

553

NWHB

50

27

21

43

141

SEHB

25

53

15

48

141

SHB

73

29

23

74

199

WHB

66

71

68

103

308

Total

499

372

252

630

1,753

An initial assessment commences as soon as possible on receipt of the report. The average length of time of a full assessment varies from case to case and cases are prioritised on intake. Factors influencing the length of time of a full assessment are as follows: the varying levels of complexity and different methods used to assess different forms of abuse, whether or not a case is subject to court proceedings, if more than one type of abuse is alleged, the nature and extent of the alleged abuse, and the facts and evidence available.
The following is the position in respect of each board regarding the number of children who are alleged to be victims of abuse and who are presently awaiting full assessment. The health boards have informed me that all children awaiting assessment have undergone an initial assessment and have been found not to be at risk.

Health Board

Sexual Abuse

Physical Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Neglect

Total

MHB

10

0

0

0

10

MWHB

0

0

0

0

0

NEHB

20

24

9

39

92

NWHB

0

1

1

0

2

SEHB

0

0

8

10

18

SHB

0

0

0

0

0

WHB

0

0

0

0

0

Total

30

25

18

49

122

The following is the position in respect of each board regarding the number of such children who have been awaiting assessment for more than three months.

Health Board

3-6 months

6-12 months

12-18 months

18-24 months

2 years+

MHB

8 (sexual)

0

0

0

0

MWHB

0

0

0

0

0

NEHB

3 (sexual)1 (emotional)3 (neglect)

0

0

0

0

NWHB

1 (physical)

1 (emotional)

0

0

0

SEHB

10 (neglect)8 (emotional)

0

0

0

0

SHB

0

0

0

0

0

WHB

0

0

0

0

0

Total

34

1

0

0

0