The Children Acts Advisory Board (CAAB) was established in 2007. Section 227 of the Children Act, 2001, as amended, sets out the functions of the Board, as follows:
(a) on request advise the Ministers on policy issues relating to the co-ordinated delivery of services under this Act and the Act of 1991 (including residential accommodation and support services to children detained in children detention schools and special care units),
(b) publish guidance on the qualifications, criteria for appointment, training and role of any guardian ad litem appointed for children in proceedings under the Act of 1991,
(c) in consultation with the Health Service Executive, prepare and publish criteria for the admission to and discharge from special care units of children subject to special care and interim special care orders,
(d) subject to subsection (6) of section 29 (as amended by section 3 of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2007) of the Act of 1991, authorise in writing a class or classes of persons representing the Board to prepare reports referred to in, and for the purposes of, subsection (5) of that section 29,
(e) give its views on any proposal of the Health Service Executive, pursuant to section 23A(2)(b) (inserted by section 16 of this Act), to apply for a special care order under Part IVA of the Act of 1991,
(f) using published sources, report on the level and nature of residential accommodation and support services to children detained in children detention schools and special care units,
(g) promote enhanced inter-agency co-operation (including the sharing of information) under this Act and the Act of 1991,
(h) promote, organise or take part in meetings, seminars, conferences, lectures or demonstrations (whether in the State or elsewhere) in relation to its functions set out in paragraphs (a) to (g), and
(i) conduct or commission research, and collect, maintain, research and evaluate statistics and other data, relating to its functions set out in paragraphs (a) to (h).
2. The Act provides for a Board comprising 12 persons. I am advised that fees paid to board members in the period 2008 to date are as follows:
2008 — €54,000. Paid in respect of years 2007 & 2008 at the rate of €9,000 per annum per person for 3 board members.
2009 — €24,300. Paid in respect of year 2009 at the rate of €8,100 per annum per person for 3 board members.
2010 — €23,085. Paid in respect of year 2010 at the rate of €7,695 per annum per person for 3 board members.
Expenses paid to board members in the period 2007 to date are as follows:
2007 — €13,972.20;
2008 — €6,257.50;
2009 — €2,660.90;
2010 — €580.70.
In October 2008 a decision was made by Government to subsume the functions of the Children Acts Advisory Board (CAAB) into the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. This is provided for under the Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2009 which recently passed Committee Stage in Dáil Eireann. The Bill is due to complete its passage through the Oireachtas shortly.