Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (232)

Nicky McFadden


232. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way child protection and foster care services will be improved, particularly in the areas of staffing levels and supervision; if she will provide an update on the standard of provision of child protection and foster care services in Counties Longford and Westmeath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12239/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I am advised by the HSE that as part of the transition to the Child and Family Support Agency, child protection and welfare services are currently being reorganised and restructured to ensure optimal delivery of services to children and their families. New National Standards for the Protection and Welfare of Children were published by HIQA in July 2010. They are also subject to independent inspection by HIQA to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

Currently there are 132 children placed in care with 70 approved foster carers in Counties Longford and Westmeath. A further 4 relative foster carers are awaiting approval. Ninety eight per cent of children in care are attending full-time education. Notwithstanding the moratorium on recruitment in the public service, a number of vacant positions in the Area have been prioritised for filling and are being processed by the HSE National Recruitment Service. All frontline staff currently receive supervision in line with the HSE Supervision Policy. This level of supervision will continue and be developed further, following the transition to the Child and Family Support Agency.