Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (598)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

598. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 568 of 12 March 2013, if the report referred to in the reply is now to hand. [5126/14]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I would like to apologise for the delay in answering this question. The numbers provided below relate to a specific timeframe in March and October for the purposes of providing data.

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March 2013

October 2013

No of children in private residential care

165

130

Range per placement

€3,585 to €8,000

not exceeding €5,000

A child is placed in a private residential centre when no suitable Child and Family Agency (CFA) placement is available and the placement has been assessed as meeting the needs of the child. I am advised by the CFA that a decision to place a child in private residential care is taken having undergone a rigorous protocol. This protocol is chaired by the regional specialist for children and family services and a panel assists that consists of colleagues from an area other than the one requesting the placement. Recommendations are made that are submitted for approval by the Regional Director for Children and Family Services.

While the average cost in March 2013 was €5,000, this varied from €3,585 to €8,000 per week. The CFA has liaised with the various private providers and put measures in place to ensure that the cost of a private residential placement does not exceed €5,000 per week. However, this upper limit may be exceeded in a small number of cases in order to provide the intensive supports and therapeutic interventions needed for some children with highly complex needs. The duration of placement varies depending on the needs of the individual child. All placements are supervised and reviewed regularly by the placing social worker and local area management.

All the private residential centres are registered and inspected by the Registration and Inspection Service of the CFA. In addition the CFA monitoring officers monitor the placements on an ongoing basis by visiting the centres, reviewing records, talking to the children, staff and social workers and through observation.