‘Heartbreaking stories’ – number of complaints from Kilkenny to Children’s Ombudsman revealed
The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) received 24 complaints from and on behalf of children in Kilkenny in 2020.
This figure represents 2% of all calls received by the Ombudsman last year, according to it’s annual report published this week.
The report, titled ‘2020 Childhood Paused’, revealed the OCO received a total of 1,187 complaints about services provided to children in 2020. In total, 6% of all calls came directly from children, up from 3% in 2019.
The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, admitted 2020 and the pandemic has been a devastating time for children. Dr Muldoon said: “2020 was a devastating year for children. We heard heartbreaking stories of children with additional needs regressing and about the turmoil the uncertainty caused.
“Children were grappling with the digital divide and they worried about parents who had lost their jobs as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy.
“We know that this impacted children in county Kilkenny and all over the country.
“We do not know where every single one of our complaints comes from – some complaints relate to more than one area, or there can be more than one child involved. However, we know for sure that 24 complaints came from Co. Kilkenny.
“While this is not very surprising, based on population spread, it shows that we still have to work hard to let people in county Kilkenny know that we are here,” Dr Muldoon added.