Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Ceisteanna (244)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

244. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children under 12 years of age in residential placements in each of the years 2015 to 2018. [4497/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I can inform the Deputy that data on the placement of children under 12 in residential care is published in Tusla's annual Review of Adequacy report, which is published annually in arrears. The most recently published Review of Adequacy relates to the year 2016.

In general, Tusla endeavour to place children under 12 in foster care. I understand that in 2016 there were some 3,672 children aged 12 and under in foster care, accounting for approximately 60% of all children in care.

In cases where a sibling group is taken into care, and it is not possible to source a foster care placement where the group can be placed together, a residential placement may be sourced for the sibling group, if it is in the best interests of the children to remain together. Consideration of the suitability of a placement will form a key part of the care planning process.

There are some circumstances where foster care is not an option, such as when an appropriate foster care placement cannot be found, where a child is at an immediate risk and cannot wait for a suitable foster care placement to be identified in a planned way, or where a child has specific therapeutic needs that are best met in residential care. In these cases, a child may be placed in a residential setting.

The following table lays out the numbers of children under 12 placed in residential care in the years 2015 and 2016. The Deputy may be interested to note that there were no children under the age of 6 placed in residential care.

2015

2016

Children under 12 in residential care

39

45

Overall children in residential care (including Special Care)

351

319

% of children in residential care <12

11%

14%