Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (562)

Catherine Connolly


562. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number and location of hostels or emergency hostel-style accommodation approved by Tusla for the placement of children; the number, age and length of stay of children currently in such accommodation in tabular form; the number, age and length of stay of children in such accommodation in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the reason for the placement of children in such accommodation; the procedures in place for ensuring the safety of children living in such accommodation; the educational and social supports available to children in such accommodation; her plans to provide funding for 24-hour services as part of such accommodation; her views on the appropriateness of such accommodation provision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39467/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I have been advised by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, that it does not provide hostel or hostel type accommodation for children in care. Emergency residential placements are provided by Tusla in Tusla run residential centres and in residential care run in the voluntary and p sector in line with the Child Care Act 1991. There is no definition of a hostel under the 1991 Child Care Act.

From time to time an emergency placement may be required for a young person already in care whose current placement is no longer sustainable or for a young person coming into the care of Tusla for the first time. These placements are either in registered private and voluntary children’s centres or in a Tusla run centre which is inspected by HIQA. In emergency situations where a placement is required Tusla's placement team, in conjunction with the child’s social worker, review all available options including emergency short term foster placement or an emergency residential centre such as Lefroy House in Dublin. These placements are short term, and based on a plan to a return to a previous care setting or to a new placement in an alternative setting. I have asked Tusla to provide information directly to the Deputy on the number of children cared for in Lefroy House for the years requested and their funding arrangements with this centre.

Children in care should have a Care Plan that covers all aspects of their care, including educational and social support. Each centre will then in turn have a placement plan to work towards meeting the needs as identified and detailed on the child’s individual care plan.