Psychologists fired after criticism of Čistý deň investigation

State agency claims that the two positions were scrapped due to organisational changes.

Čistý DeňČistý Deň (Source: SME)

Two psychologists, who criticised the probe of the Labour Ministry into the case of the Čistý Deň resocialisation centre, have been ousted. While the psychologists see their critical stance behind the layoffs, the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre (ÚPSVaR), a state agency linked to the Labour Ministry, claims that it scrapped the two positions due to organisational changes.

Psychologist Katarína Hatráková pointed out the superficial investigation of the Čistý deň case. Her colleague Zuzana Hradíleková described how ÚPSVaR pressed Hatráková to cross out some parts of a report.

Now both have lost their jobs, the postoj.sk website informed. Hatráková confirmed the ousting for the Sme daily, adding that she was taken aback.

“I knew that the situation was not developing positively and that a termination notice may come, but the speed of it has surprised me," said Hatráková, as quoted by Sme.

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When the employees of the centre found out that psychological reports were missing from the records of the inmates, the office prevented them from continuing an investigation of the issue. The accreditation committee and the Labour Ministry used these reports to decide about withdrawal of accreditation. The commission recommended withdrawing the accreditation; the Labour Minister, Ján Richter, made the opposite decision.

The ÚPSVaR allowed the police to check into the statements of both psychologists. At the same time, they also checked the approved procedures for report writing. From the evidence available to the controllers, there was no proof that the investigation had been influenced, according to Jana Lukáčová, the spokesperson for the ÚPSVaR.

Lukáčová indicated that planned organisational changes at the ÚPSVaR are behind the criticism made by the psychologists.

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Hatráková said that from the beginning she had not meant to criticise the report publicly, but her opinion changed after she saw the attitude of the management of the ÚPSVaR.

“Their attitude did not develop in such a way as to protect children," said Hatráková for Sme.

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