Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1198)

Clare Daly

Question:

1198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if children are ever placed in foster care abroad rather than locally; and if so, the number of children placed abroad in each year since 2011, by country of placement. [13349/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I am advised by Tusla the Child and Family Agency, that the number of children placed in foster care, and living abroad, represents a very small proportion of all children in foster care. At the end of December 2018, the most recent date for which data is available, a total of 5,556 children were in foster care.

A child may be in foster care overseas when the child is placed by Tusla with relatives who reside outside of the jurisdiction. Alternatively, foster carers/relative carers, who have a child placed with them, may, due to personal circumstances decide to move from the jurisdiction. In this situation Tusla would determine whether it was in the best interests of the child to remain with their carers.

The table below lays out the number of children in foster care abroad, by year. Prior to the establishment of Tusla in 2014, the responsibility for foster care lay with the Health Services Executive. Tusla data is collated from its point of establishment onwards.

Table: Number and location of overseas foster care placements 2014-2019

Year

No. of children in foster care overseas

Countries

2019

13

UK, Finland, Spain

2018

13

UK, Finland, Spain

2017

12

UK, Spain

2016

12

UK, Spain

2015

11

UK, Spain

2014

7

UK, Spain