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Written Answers - Child and Family Support Agency

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 122.  Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams  asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald  if she has met with her ministerial counterparts in the North of Ireland to discuss the matter of joint co-operation in the work of the Child and Family Support Agency. [23952/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Co-operation in the area of child welfare and protection services has been a feature of North/South engagement over the past number of years, and is reported on by respective Ministers to the regular North/South Ministerial Council Plenary and Sectoral meetings. To date work in this area has been concentrated on five areas:

(i) the establishment of the North South Child Protection Hub, a dedicated on-line child protection resource;

(ii) the development of an “Inter-Jurisdictional Protocol for the Transfer of Child Care cases between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland”;

(iii) a review of vetting and barring arrangements in both jurisdictions;

(iv) the development of a joint communication strategy to promote awareness of child welfare and protection; and

(v) promoting internet safety in the area of child welfare and protection.

My most recent meeting with my counterpart Minister Edwin Poots took place on 2 February 2012 where we launched new protocols on cross border cooperation on child protection.

The next North/South Ministerial meeting is currently scheduled to be held later this month, at which myself and Minister Edwin Poots will discuss proposals for co-operation across a number of additional areas. The aim will be to build on the good work which has already been undertaken to date. The new Child and Family Support Agency, and in the interim the HSE, [335]will have a very important role to play in advancing practical co-operation with our colleagues in Northern Ireland in this important area.

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has been kept informed by my Department of the planned establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency.

Question No. 123 answered with Question No. 108.


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