Services and Policy Press Releases

CARI Annual Report 2015

CARI CALLS FOR TUSLA TO LIVE UP TO ITS STATED AIM of always putting CHILDREN FIRST – and fund therapy now for 92 children

Speaking at CARI’s 2015 Annual Report Launch by Geoffrey Shannon,  Government Special Rapporteur for Children, in Buswells Hotel CEO Mary Flaherty announced that CARI will seek an urgent meeting with TUSLA, at the highest level, to seek an immediate increase in funding. Currently, to allow  CARI to has offer a service to the 92 children on their current waiting list who have suffered the aftermath of Child Sexual Abuse and are in need of therapeutic services. CARI is determined to provide a service to these children as quickly as possible and will also seek the support of Minister Zappone for theiris demandapplication.
Ms Flaherty added “despite the fact that CARI offered an18% increase in appointments in 2015  the number of childrens  waiting for therapy also increased and this  has continued into 2016. For over a year now, CARI, has brought  its expertise to TUSLA developing a new national service, and has been campaigninging quietly in the backgroundwith the statutory services in this context   for over a year now conscious that TUSLA is trying to develop a new national service, in which CARI has involvement.  To date many management and co-ordination posts have been recruited filled but so far not one additional therapeutic hour has resulted or is currently planned. CARI is adamant that the These children who are on their waiting list, should not have to wait while new services are developed.

CARI’s current capacity, utilizing public and statutory funds, allows CARI to provide therapy to about fifty-five children a year and support to the parent/carer. As some clients need to attend for more than one year and new children are being referred every month it follows that waiting times will rise to over 18 month on average between the two centres, from a current average of one year. The stress on clients, referrers and CARI therapist is currently intense and would become unbearable and indefensible.
CARI is seek a one off increase in funding of €200,000 in 2017 to allow the organization recruit additional therapists to see these children in a clinically appropriate time and deal with this backlog, due in part to the cumulative cutbacks of the recession. Since July 2015 CARI has been seeking additional funding to deal with the waiting list of children and their parents/carers, with no success.  We have been met with new demands and clinically doubtful alternatives that can and have further traumatized these children and/or failed to meet their needs.  And while that frustrating and fruitless process went on, the  list kept growing even with some clients accessing being facilitated to attend private therapy or adult services.

CEO Mary Flaherty concluded “If TUSLA does not provide additional funding for 2017 CARI may have to think of the unthinkable and consider closing the waiting  list until waiting times are reduced to a clinically approved level (max 6 months”).” We are loath to do this as it would leave children and families with no hope at all, explained CARI’s Head of Therapy, Ms Monica Murphy.

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European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse


European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse

In 2015, the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers adopted the Lanzarote Convention and set up the first European Day for the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse and launched a campaign to stop sexual violence against children.

The European Day follows the important work and impact resulting from the recently-completed Council of Europe ONE in FIVE Campaign to stop sexual violence against children. Its annual objectives are to:

It aims to:

  • raise public awareness of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, and the need to prevent such acts;
  • open discussion on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and help prevent and eliminate the stigmatisation of victims;
  • the ratification and implementation of the Lanzarote Convention- a unique legally-binding instrument that obliges Parties to criminalise all forms of sexual abuse of children and spells out the ways to fight it.

For more information click here

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Would you like to volunteer? Forensic Accompaniment Officers

Would you like to volunteer?

CARI are presently recruiting VOLUNTEERS for Child & Family Accompaniment to Galway’s Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Unit

ACCOMPANIMENT OFFICERS - to accompany and support children and their families, through their forensic medical examination at the Galway CASATS Unit following an acute or historical sexual assault for children under 14 years of age.

4 shifts per month (on a 12 hour on-call basis).

Full training and clinical supervision will be given to successful applicants.
Applicants must reside in the Galway area and be 21 years or over.
Applicants will be Garda Vetted

Closing date – Friday 3rd November 2017

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CARI’s response to the discovery of a new born baby girl’s body in Wicklow recycling facility

Thursday 5th March 2016.

CARI offers support to children and young people who have had unwanted sexual experiences and who may be impacted by the news of the discovery of a new born baby girl’s body in Wicklow recycling facility.

We in CARI are saddened and shocked that in this day and age a woman cannot get the help she needs to deal with a problematic pregnancy. Without knowledge of the circumstances of the mother we can only speculate about how such a tragic end should have happened.

Unfortunately precedent shows that this may not be unique. For those who may be struggling in private CARI’s CEO Mary Flaherty today offered the support of the CARI services to anyone affected by the case.

Ms Flaherty said, “ CARI wishes to draw attention to its Helpline and other services where CARI supports children and young people who have unwanted sexual experiences and encourages anyone with a concern to phone 1890 924 567. Nobody needs to suffer in silence”

Ireland has precedents that rocked our nation and changed our understanding of such tragic events most strikingly the death of  Anne Lovett and her baby.

While Garda appeal for the mother to come forward and are conducting post-mortem, the facts of this case remain unclear, but there is no doubt that many in our country will be deeply affected by hearing the facts of the case.

     Mary Flaherty CEO
0879582250 or

Founded in 1989, CARI (formerly Children At Risk in Ireland) is one of Ireland’s leading voluntary providers of therapy to children, families and groups affected by child sexual abuse. CARI provide a Helpline, CASS (Child Accompaniment Support Service) and therapy service.

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