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Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 6 July 2021

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Questions (404)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

404. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of children currently in foster or other care in State or private institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36479/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Thank you for your question about the numbers of children in care. Due to the impact of the cyber attack on Tusla, the Child and Family Agency's, systems I am happy to provide the latest figures available to the Department.

Tusla's role is to offer care and protection for children in circumstances where their parents have not been able to provide the care that a child needs. Tusla has a statutory responsibility to provide these services under the provisions the Child Care Act, 1991, the Children Act, 2001 and the Child Care (Amendment) Act, 2007. Children who require admission to care are accommodated through placement in foster care, placement with relatives, or residential care.Tusla is committed to the principle that family life affords the best environment for raising children and the objective of external intervention should be to support families within the community. Tusla's approach is to place children in a family based setting with 91% of children in foster care placements.

At the end of February there were 5,873 children in the care of Tusla, one more than January 2021 (5,872) and 83 fewer children in care than the same time last year (5,956).Of children in care, 91% (5,328) are in foster care, with 65% ( 3,811) in general foster care and 26% ( 1,517) in relative foster care. A smaller group of children in care 7% ( 426) are in residential placements and 2% (119) are in “other” care placements, including, for example, specialist disability services and specialist placements abroad.

At the end of February 2021, 13% (740) of children in care were placed with private providers. This is 14 more than January 2021 (726) and 45 more than February 2020 (695)Of the 740, 57% (421) were placed with private in foster care, eight more than January 2021 (413) and 21 more than February 2021 (400).There were 38% (279) of children in placements with private providers were in residential care , six more than January 2021 (273). This number (269) is up 18 on February 2020 (261). The remaining 5% (40) children were in other private placements.

Question No. 405 answered with Question No. 397.
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