The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is firmly committed to the transformation of Ireland’s child and family services. At the heart of this reform programme is the creation of a new Child and Family Agency which was established by Minister Frances Fitzgerald T.D. on 1st January, 2014.
The establishment of the Agency is a key Programme for Government commitment and represents an essential response to reports on child protection failings, including inconsistency and fragmentation in service provision.
The Agency brings a dedicated focus to child protection, family support and other key children’s services for the first time in the history of the State. The Agency is as broadly based as possible and includes services that (i) may prevent problems arising for a family in the first instance (ii) identify problems and provide supports at an early stage and (iii) assist children and families in managing serious problems requiring specialised intervention beyond their own resources.
Read Speech by Minister Fitzgerald T.D. on launch of Child and Family Agency (30th January, 2014)
Read Press Release issued on behalf of the newly established Child and Family Agency (1st January, 2014)
Read Press Release as Minister Fitzgerald T.D. welcomes the establishment of the Child and Family Agency (31st December, 2013)
The Child and Family Agency has taken over responsibility for the following range of services:
- Child Welfare and Protection Services, including family support services previously delivered by the HSE’s Children and Family Services;
- Services previously delivered by the Family Support Agency and the National Educational Welfare Board;
- Pre-school Inspection services;
- Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services previously delivered by the HSE;
- Community-based services related to the psychological welfare of children and families.
The establishment of the Agency is one of the most ambitious public sector reforms being undertaken by this Government. It involves bringing together nearly 4,000 staff with a budget of €609 million for 2014.
From 2015, funding for domestic violence services formerly allocated by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to Local Authorities under the Housing Act, 1988, will be transferred to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and onwards to the Child and Family Agency, Tusla. (Information Note)