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Child and Family Agency

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (23)

Peter Fitzpatrick


23. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if Tusla in County Louth can be contacted over the weekend; if so, the phone number to contact them; and if not, the working hours. [59440/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Louth/Meath Social Work Department is available on weekdays all year round and can be contacted on 046 909 5560. The office is closed at weekends and on bank holidays. When closed any emergency child protection matters are dealt with by the National Out of Hours Service which is available 24/7, 365 days of the year.  

The Out of Hours service is managed by Tusla staff. The service ensures the safety and welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection outside normal office hours. Social workers are available in emergency situations in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Cork.  

In other areas, including County Louth, there are social workers available on the phone, to assist An Garda Síochána in making decisions regarding actions for children who may be at risk. The service will link the child into the local social work department for immediate follow up on the next working day. 

The Out of Hours Service operates an emergency child protection line for professionals (available to Gardai, hospitals etc.). Out of hours support is provided to Tusla foster carers on the national fostering support line at 1890 800 511. For reports under the Child Care Act mandated reporters can access the out of hours service on 0818776315.  

While Tusla does not provide a 24/7 phone line to the general public, where a child protection emergency arises out of hours, members of the public should contact An Garda Siochána.

Question No. 24 answered orally.