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Children in Care

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 20 June 2017

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Ceisteanna (1904, 1905)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

1904. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason for Tusla's policy with regard to placing children under 12 years of age in residential care. [27076/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

1905. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children in residential care in 2016 and to date in 2017, by age and county. [27077/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1904 and 1905 together.

My Department's policy is that children aged 12 and under are only placed in a residential setting if it is part of their care plan , and for the shortest time possible. Children should not be placed in residential care due to a shortage of suitable foster care places. Each child is assessed and the decision about where to place them is based on their needs, which are identified through the care planning process.

The latest figures from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, indicates that, at the end of March 2017, there were 6,308 children in care. Of these, 362 (6%) were in a residential placement, 210 of which were private residential placements.

A child is placed in a residential setting only when they have an identified need that can be met by this service or for an intensive assessment or provision of specialist services. In general, these centres are based in domestic style homes in the community, and staffed by social care workers to attend to the needs of the child. Specialist supports are also made available, as needed, and many centres have specialist skillsets and therapeutic modalities.

I have asked Tusla to provide the Deputy with figures on the number of children in residential care in 2016 and to date in 2017.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A.

I have made enquiries with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency in relation to your Parliamentary Question (27077/17) of 20th June 2017 where you asked for the number of children in residential care in 2016 and to date in 2017, by age and county. This information is now included below.

Please note that the Child and Family Agency does not record data by county, but by administrative area.

Number of Children in Residential Care by Administrative Area at end December 2016 and April 2017

Administrative Area

December 2016

April 2017

Dublin South Central

38

33

Dublin South East/Wicklow

21

20

Dublin South West/Kildare/ West Wicklow

30

28

Midlands

15

14

Dublin City North

44

43

Dublin North

27

24

Louth/Meath

14

17

Cavan/Monaghan

2

2

Cork

36

43

Kerry

3

5

Carlow/Kilkenny/South Tipperary

16

22

Waterford/Wexford

29

29

Mid West

23

22

Galway/Roscommon

5

6

Mayo

1

0

Donegal

4

6

Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan

8

7

Separated Children Seeking Asylum*

n/a

35

National Total

316

356

Source: Monthly Activity Returns

*not collated in 2016, commenced in 2017

The most recent data relating to the ages of children in care by care type by administrative areas is to end December 2015.

Number of Children in Residential Care by administrative area and age at end December 2015

Administrative Area

0-5 years

6-9 years

10 years

11 years

12 years

13 years

14 years

15 years

16 years

17

years

Total

Dublin South Central

1

0

1

3

3

1

6

6

12

13

46

Dublin South East/Wicklow

0

3

0

1

1

3

1

5

4

5

23

Dublin South West/Kildare/ West Wicklow

0

0

0

0

0

3

8

6

6

16

39

Midlands

0

0

0

2

0

0

1

4

5

6

18

Dublin City North

0

1

1

3

1

2

5

17

10

11

51

Dublin North

0

0

0

1

1

1

6

6

4

11

30

Louth/Meath

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

6

6

4

17

Cavan/Monaghan

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

4

Cork

0

2

0

1

1

3

5

4

9

18

43

Kerry

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

3

5

Carlow/Kilkenny/ South Tipperary

0

2

1

1

0

0

1

2

3

3

14

Waterford/ Wexford

0

0

2

2

2

2

3

4

3

11

29

Mid West

0

0

0

0

0

2

4

2

4

4

16

Galway/Roscommon

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

3

Mayo

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

2

Donegal

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

1

5

Sligo/Leitrim/ West Cavan

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

2

6

National Total

1

8

5

14

11

18

43

66

73

112

351

Source: Q4 Addendum Returns 2015

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