Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1165)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1165. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number and percentage of children that are in general residential care with an allocated social worker by county in tabular form. [13031/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I can advise the Deputy that data is reported by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency by administrative area and not by county. The most recent date for which data is available is December 2018, which is laid out in the table below.

Table: Number and percentage of children in general residential care with an allocated social worker, by Tusla administrative area.

Area

# in general residential care

# with social worker

% with social worker

Dublin South East/Wicklow

20

19

95%

Dublin South West/Kildare/West Wicklow

36

32

89%

Dublin South Central

25

25

100%

Midlands

14

13

93%

Dublin North City

36

35

97%

Dublin North

26

26

100%

Louth/Meath

10

10

100%

Cavan/Monaghan

0

0

Kerry

9

9

100%

Cork

36

36

100%

Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary

22

21

95%

Waterford/Wexford

40

40

100%

Donegal

8

8

100%

Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan

4

4

100%

Mayo

1

1

100%

Galway/Roscommon

8

8

100%

Midwest

34

32

94%

Social Work Team for Separated Children Seeking Asylum

35

35

100%

TOTAL

364

354

97%

Tusla aims to ensure that all children in residential care have an allocated social worker. The social worker is responsible for the preparation and review of the child's statutory care plan which outlines the goals for the child while in care and is prepared in consultation with the child. The care plan sets out the details needed in their placement plan for living, education, socialising, visiting family and other important issues for the child. Regulations set out the minimum visiting requirements by the social worker, to meet directly with the child and establish that they are safe, well cared for an consulted about their care. The social worker also keeps in contact with the child's parent, ensures access arrangements are appropriate and safe and that the parent is, in keeping with the individual circumstances of the case, is kept informed of their child's progress.

Whilst every effort is made that all children in residential care are allocated a social worker, there are a very small number of instances (currently 10) where this is not possible due to a change in social worker or where there are temporary difficulties in filling the social work post. However, it is important to note that the allocation of social workers for children in residential care is a priority and such cases are re-prioritised for allocation as soon as possible and is a short-term issue. Social workers on the duty team will take on specific aspects of the role, for instance visiting the child or reviewing the care plan.