School absenteeism cases on Tusla’s national waiting list have surged in Donegal in the last two school terms, it has emerged.
Figures obtained show that (12) a dozen school-aged children who were not in school have been referred to Tulsa over absenteeism this term alone.
The figures come as it was revealed that 108 referrals were made to the child and family agency for the school year 2018-2019.
It is understood that 65 of the Donegal schoolchildren were allocated to an Educational Welfare Officier (EWOs) while 17 were placed on a waiting list.
The remaining 26 were not assigned to EWOs because they were aged 16 or over or under six.
A spokesperson for Tulsa told Donegal Daily: “All referrals are screened in line with our process, and those that do not meet the referral criteria would not be placed on a waiting list.”
National figures in a recent report show that Tusla’s Educational Welfare Service (EWS) had 2,636 referrals on its waiting list.
The figure has been climbing steadily since last October and the comparable figure from April 2018 was 1,670 cases.
It is understood the numbers, released by Tulsa, is due to the rising numbers of homeless children, insufficient numbers of staff, and increasingly complex cases such as students with mental health issues and special needs.Tags: