Under the Child Care Act 1991 and the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, the Child and Family Agency has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The majority of children in care are in foster care and one third are placed with relatives.
The Child and Family Agency receive a child into care where it appears that the child requires care and protection that he is unlikely to receive unless taken into care. Alleviation of financial hardship is not a reason for a child coming into care. The Department of Social Protection provides for a Guardianship Payment in such circumstances.
The Department of Social Protection has advised that the Guardian's Payment (contributory) and Guardian's Payment (noncontributory) are payments made to a person caring for a child who is defined as an orphan under Social Welfare legislation in cases where both the child's parents are dead or in cases where children's parent(s) have abandoned and failed to provide for them.