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Legislation regarding Children in Care

The primary legislation governing child care policy is the Child Care Act 1991. Under this Act (revised) the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The definition of a child is a person under 18 years of age who is not or has not been married.


The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is leading a review of the Child Care Act 1991. This is in line with a specific commitment in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 - 2020 to review and reform, as necessary, the Child Care Act 1991.

This includes examination of possible amendment of existing provisions in some instances, and also the addition of new developments in other areas. This work is being progressed in close cooperation with Tusla. The review process will also involve consultation with stakeholders.

 

Voluntary Care

In cases where Tusla has serious concerns about a child's welfare and safety and /or parents are unable to cope due to illness or other serious problems parents may request or agree to their children being taken into the care of Tusla on a voluntary basis. In these cases while Tusla has care of the children it must consider the parents' wishes in relation to how aspects of the care are provided. Tusla is obliged to provide care for these children for as long as their welfare requires it. It is estimated that 57% (2014 figures) of children in the care of Tusla are in voluntary care.

 

Court Orders under Child Care Act, 1991

In cases where Tusla has serious concerns for the care and wellbeing of a child, and where it is not suitable or the parent is not agreeable to a voluntary care arrangement, it must apply to the courts for a care order or a supervision order.  A care order gives Tusla a range of powers regarding care planning and care placements.

 All care placements are designed to meet the assessed needs of the child coming into care. This requires each child to have an allocated social worker whose statutory duties include:
•    the preparation and review of care plans,
•    finding appropriate placements for children
•    consideration of the wishes of families
•    addressing education placement and health needs of children
•    visits to placements
•    meeting with children
•    working with children and their families with a view to planning the child’s future

Social Workers

 All care placements are designed to meet the assessed needs of the child coming into care. This requires each child to have an allocated social worker whose statutory duties include:
•    the preparation and review of care plans,
•    finding appropriate placements for children
•    consideration of the wishes of families
•    addressing education placement and health needs of children
•    visits to placements
•    meeting with children
•    working with children and their families with a view to planning the child’s future

Supervision Orders


The Child Care Act 1991 provides for Tusla to apply to Court for a supervision order. A supervision order is an alternative to children being taken into care and gives Tusla the authority to visit and monitor the health and welfare of the child and to give the parents any necessary advice. The order is for up to a maximum of 12 months but may be renewed by the Court on the basis of a further application to it in that regard.

follow us on twitter skills to work Supporting SMEs http://whodoeswhat.gov.ie/ Be Winter Ready The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme