The National Review Panel publishes its 2020 Annual Report
The National Review Panel (NRP), chaired by Dr Helen Buckley, has today published its Annual Report for 2020.
The 2020 Annual Report shows that a total of 30 deaths of children and young people in care or known to child and family services were notified in 2020. This figure represents an increase of nearly one third (9) from 2019.
One young person whose death was notified was in care at the time of their death. Six were in aftercare, and a further 23 young people whose death was notified to the NRP lived in their communities and were known to Tusla social work department or funded services.
Of the 30 deaths notified in 2020:
- Eleven died as a result of natural causes
- Seven died by suicide
- Two were by homicide
- Two were road traffic accidents
- Six were accidental
- A further two were unknown (where the coroner/post mortem has not reached a conclusion as to cause of death)
Commenting on the Annual Report, Dr Helen Buckley, Chairperson of the National Review Panel said: “On behalf of the NRP I wish to extend my sincere sympathies to families, friends and all those affected by the deaths of the children and young people reviewed by the National Review Panel in 2020. The death of a child is an unthinkable tragedy and one which has a profound effect on many.
Despite the significant challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic, the NRP completed and submitted reports on 16 children and young people during 2020. One of these reports was published in 2020 alongside a previously submitted review.
An overview of notifications to the NRP since 2011 indicates that suicide and mental health problems in young people continue to be significant particularly in young people between 15 and 18 years. Reviews on these cases have, over the years, highlighted a gap in services as suicidal ideation is considered to be a mental health problem but does not always qualify for a CAMHS service. It is also evident that drug use by parents and also by young people contributes significantly to their difficulties. Overall, the cases illustrate a number of social problems impacting on young people and highlight the need for a multi-agency response.
One of the most important functions of the NRP is to identify obstacles to good practice and areas for learning, and each report contains a section specifically for this purpose.”