Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (241)

Bríd Smith

Question:

241. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the payment made by Tusla for fostering is not taken into account when means testing a foster parent's entitlement to social welfare payments; and the support available when the only payment entering such a household is the Tusla foster care allowance and child benefit allowance. [41446/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The primary payment for foster parents is the foster care allowance which is administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The foster care allowance is currently €325 per week per child under 12 and €352 per week per child of twelve and over. When a young person between the ages of 18 and 21 is still in training or education, an Aftercare Allowance may be paid. More information is available on the Tusla website regarding the Standardised Aftercare Allowance.

The foster care allowance is exempt from taxation under the Finance Act 2005 and is not taken into account in the means test for most social welfare payments.

Child Benefit will be paid to the foster parent after the child has been in foster care for 6 months and in some cases may be paid from an earlier date depending on the individual circumstances.

Child Benefit is paid at a rate of €140 per month per child.

The Department provides a range of other payments to parents and families with different qualifying criteria. The foster parent may be entitled to a number of these payments depending on their circumstances. The foster parent should look at the Department website or contact their local Social Welfare Office in the first instance to establish entitlement.