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Written Answers. - Child Care Services.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

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 110. Mr. O'Shea Information on Brian O'Shea Zoom on Brian O'Shea  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  the structures in place in the Waterford community care area of the South-Eastern Health Board Area to ensure maximum co-operation between the various departments and public authorities in the interests of children presenting chronic anti-social behaviour and associated parental neglect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18623/02]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin As the Deputy will be aware, the South-Eastern Health Board is responsible in the first instance [1199] for the provision of child care services in the Waterford area.

The Children First guidelines and structures as proposed therein have been in place within the Waterford community care area since September 2000. These include regular strategy meetings with the Garda and a local child protection committee made up of representatives of the Garda, education and voluntary sectors. Children First facilitates and encourages other professionals to make direct contact with the health board and social work department in order to follow up on the interests of children presenting with “chronic anti-social behaviour and associated parental neglect”.

I am also aware that Waterford community care is linked with a number of fora within Waterford and is working in a co-operative way with a number of Departments and public authorities within Waterford. These structures include Waterford area partnership social inclusion measure committee, the rapid structure, Waterford City Child Care Committee, Waterford City Development Board, Waterford County Child Care Committee and Waterford County Development Board. A springboard family support project has also been developed within the Ballybeg area, in partnership with the health board, local authorities and voluntary agencies.

The Deputy will also be aware that the National Children's Office has been tasked by the Cabinet committee on children with co-ordinating the implementation of the Children Act, 2001. A working group, chaired by the National Children's Office and comprising high level representation from my Department and the Departments of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Education and Science and their respective local level agencies, has been established for this purpose. The question of local level co-ordination and implementation will be addressed by the working group in the context of the national implementation planning process.

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