Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (406)

Clare Daly

Question:

406. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if an investigation will be conducted into the fact that three times as many children are taken into foster care in County Cork compared to counties Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22334/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I can advise the Deputy that a child received into care by Tusla as a result of a legal court order or through voluntary parental consent is placed in foster care or residential care.

Foster care is the main form of alternative care for children in need of care and protection, and is the preferred option for children who cannot live with their parents or guardians. Children, depending on their individual need and based on their Care Plan, may be placed in foster care either with relatives or with general foster carers. Of the children in care in Ireland, 92% are in foster care, nationally. This compares very favourably to foster care services overseas. In the UK 73% of children in care are in foster care. In fact, Ireland compares extremely well internationally with regard to placement of children with foster carers, as opposed to in institutional care. Ireland, along with Australia, has one of the highest rates of family placement (foster family care and formal relative or kinship care) in child welfare systems globally.

I wish to advise the Deputy that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, collate data by Tusla administrative area, rather than by county.

The following table shows the number of children in foster care in each of the counties mentioned by the Deputy. These figures relate to February 2019, the latest available data. The total number of children in foster care in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare is 1,692, while the total number for Cork is 729.

Table :Number of children in foster care February 2019

Tusla Area

Number of children in foster care February 2019

Dublin South Central

328

Dublin South East/Wicklow

245

Dublin South West/ Kildare/West Wicklow

360

Dublin City North

465

Dublin North

294

Cork

729