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Written Answers - Children in Care

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 449.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald  the total number of children in care in each of the past three years to date in 2012; the extent and nature of support available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24331/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Under the Child Care Act, 1991 the Health Service Executive (HSE) has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. If a child is in need of care and protection and is unlikely to receive it at home, the HSE has a duty to ensure they receive appropriate care. In such circumstances children can be taken into care on a voluntary basis (on agreement with the parents) or under various Court Orders as provided for under the Child Care Act, 1991.

Where a child is coming into care they are allocated a social worker who undertakes a full assessment of need and on this basis a statutory care plan is developed. This assessment will call on a full range of professionals, where, required to set out a comprehensive statement of the child’s needs. The care plan also determines the support and interventions needed with regard to the family situation where it is planned that a child will return home. The care plan directs the placement most appropriate to the needs of the child and for the majority of children.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) compiles and publishes monthly performance reports which include statistics in relation to children in care. The HSE reported the following information regarding the number for children in care:

Year Number of Children in Care
February 2012 6,168
December 2011 6,160
December 2010 5,727
November 2009 (data not available for December due to staff redeployment) 5,694

Question No. 450 answered with Question No. 445.

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