Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
1119. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the plans being developed by her Department or Tusla on separated parents having access to their children while the country reopens over the coming weeks; the phase of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business in which households will be allowed mix in order that separated parents have access again; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5899/20]
Any disruption to family contact (access) can be very difficult and upsetting for both children/young people and also for their parents and family. The importance of the contact for the child in care and their family can not be underestimated. In compliance with national guidelines every effort is being made to continue access. Where face to face access has been a challenge or deemed too much of a risk other avenues such as facetime, skype phone or letter have been used.
As safety measures are eased Tusla has other options available to facilitate access visits. As this is an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that a direct response be provided to the Deputy.