Written Answers. - Children in Care.

Alan Shatter

Question:

323 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children in care; the number of children in foster care and in residential care; if he will detail in respect of each category the number of children in such care for less than 12 months, for between 12 months and two years; for between two and five years, and for more than five years. [7516/01]

The information sought by the Deputy, to the extent that it is available, is as follows:

Number of children in foster care

Number of children in residential care

Number of children at home under supervision

Other

Total

3,289

595

149

183

4,216

Details of the length of stay in respect of each category are not available; however, the overall figures for the length of stay for children in care are as follows:

Length of Stay

Number of children

– up to one year

960

– one to five years

1,775

– over five years

1,481

Total

4,216

The above information is extracted from the Child Care Interim Minimum Dataset and it relates to 1999 – the most recent year for which information is available. Information regarding 2000 is currently being assembled.
As the Deputy will be aware, there have been difficulties in relation to child care statistics in the past. My Department has started to address this issue by establishing the Interim Minimum Dataset. In addition, a steering group on child care management information was established last year with a view to developing a satisfactory system. The work of the steering group is ongoing.