herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Questions need to answered over boy's care

The probe into the murder of Hassan Khan will also focus on what support services were provided to the child and his family after he was the subject of a nationwide Child Rescue Alert (CRI) just weeks ago.

The alert was issued after he and his father, former doctor Saleem Khan were reported missing from Ballybrack village. However, they were located just an hour later on the evening of August 10.

The CRI was stood down when Hassan was safely returned.

"Following the death of a child, particularly in circumstances as tragic as the death of little Hassan, it is important that we all take the time to mourn a life not lived," Gordon Jeyes, chief executive, of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, said.

"In the period immediately following Hassan's death the focus for Tusla will be on supporting those who knew and worked with the little boy and his family," he said.

Tragic

"In due course, the Child and Family Agency will work with any investigating body to provide all information available, both in terms of any supports offered previously to the child and his family and any information which may cast light on why this tragic death took place," Mr Jeyes said

Robert Troy, Fianna Fail spokesman on children, said an inquiry would have to take place and questions would have to be asked.

"What we need to establish is what level of support was being given to this family and were the family allocated a dedicated social worker?

"What support was needed? Was that support forthcoming. And if not, why not?"

Meanwhile, Kieran McGrath, child welfare consultant, outlined the questions he would expect to be asked or avenues to be explored when this tragic case is being reviewed.

"Well obviously, people will want to know who did what, when," he told Sean O'Rourke on RTE radio today.

He said that they will want to know what information was available at the time, because "it may be that there was very little information available".

"It may be that the matter was still in the process of evaluation.

intervention

"One would want to know what conclusions people came to in terms of their evaluation of risk, for example, and was the case still under active intervention or was it pending further evaluation and intervention later or was the case closed?

"Clearly, this a terribly tragic situation," he said.

Mr McGrath said the liaison between the gardai and Tusla varies very much around the country.

fdillon@herald.ie

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