Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (580)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

580. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which adequate protection remains available to children exiting residential care facilities in the public or private sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5207/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Every year more than 500 young people reach adulthood and leave the care of the State. These young people are offered a wide range of services from different State actors including income supports, health supports, accommodation and education.

The aftercare provisions of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015 came into force on the 1st of September 2017. This means that there is now a statutory obligation on Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to prepare an aftercare plan for each eligible child and young person. This plan encompasses the range of supports that a young person may need from all service providers, including Tusla, to help them make the transition to independent adult life.

This support can also include direct financial support in the form of the aftercare allowance, which Tusla provides to young people in aftercare to enable them to pursue further education and training.

The majority of young people who leave the care of the State each year upon turning 18 do so with stable accommodation in place. A significant number of young people leaving care remain living with their former foster carers. Those who do not have family support from a foster carer or family base are assisted in finding accommodation in supported lodgings, sheltered housing or independent accommodation.

This planning and support process is offered to each eligible child and young person, regardless of whether they are leaving residential care, foster care, or another form of care.