Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (526)

Finian McGrath

Question:

641 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children in the care of foster families in the State; and the amount of public finance granted to assist them in 2003. [1090/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

Foster care is the main form of alternative care for children who cannot, for a number of reasons, be looked after in their own home. In August 2001, the foster care allowance was substantially increased, alleviating the need for foster parents to apply to health boards for every extra financial need of their foster child or children. The current rates of payment are €289.50 per week for a child under 12 years and €316.50 per week for a child of 12 years and over. The number of children in foster care at 31 December 2003 and funding provided to foster carers in 2003 is as follows:

Health Board/Authority

No of Children in Foster Care 31/12/03

Funding Provided to Foster Carers

Eastern Regional Health Authority

1,538

22.43m

Midland Health Board

294

04.43m

Mid Western Health Board

428

06.21m*

North Eastern Health Board

310

06.54m

North Western Health Board

170

03.75m

Southern Health Board

635*

10.35m*

South Eastern Health Board

400

08.31m

Western Health Board

261

04.81m

Totals

4,036

66.83m

*Please note that figures from MWHB include figures relating to the provision of aftercare and children post adoption.

*Please note that figures from SHB include figures relating to the provision of aftercare.