Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (699)

Clare Daly

Question:

699. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the amount it is costing the State annually since the Granada Institute closed down to treat, or to offer treatment to, child sex offenders; the number being treated abroad; the cost of same; and if it would be more effective to treat them at home or look at other alternatives. [20980/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I understand that the Granada Institute was a private charitable organisation established by the Hospitaller Order of St John of God, which provided assessment and treatment services to those who have committed sexual offences involving children. This service discontinued operation in 2011.

In my capacity as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs I am responsible, under Part 10 of the Children Act 2001, for the 3 Children Detention Schools at Oberstown, Lusk, Co. Dublin which provide detention places to the Courts for girls up to the age of 18 years and boys up to the age of 17 years ordered to be remanded or committed on criminal charges.

Children may be sentenced to detention by the courts for a range of offences on foot of criminal proceedings under the Children Act 2001. In a small number of cases, these sentences are for sex offences. I wish to confirm that the services of the Granada Institute have not been availed of for children detained in the Children Detention Schools in Oberstown. For any such child in custody a comprehensive care and rehabilitation plan is devised based on the individual needs of each child by qualified child care managers. For children in custody for sex offences, I understand that therapeutic and treatment plans are available based on identified need, either on the Oberstown campus or in the community. It has not been necessary to arrange treatment abroad for any child detained in the Children Detention Schools.

Apart from children serving a sentence on the Oberstown campus, there are other children who may be the subject of social worker involvement who may display challenging behaviour in terms of a possible likelihood to commit child sexual offences. In addition, there may be children found guilty of such offences by the courts but who may have received a community sanction under the Children Act 2001. I am referring the Deputy's question to the Child and Family Agency and the Probation Service for any further information they may have to hand which would be relevant and will be in further contact when a response has been received.