Written answers

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Wards of Court

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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319. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of young persons who are currently receiving out-of-State care after having been taken into wardship; the facilities in which they are receiving this out-of-State care; the amount the State has paid in out-of-State care costs in respect of young persons in each of the years 2015 to 2020 and to date in 2021; the number of young persons in receipt of out-of-State care in each of the years 2015 to 2020 and to date in 2021 after having been declared wards of court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30391/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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On very rare occasions, the level of specialist psychiatric or therapeutic intervention required to treat a child in the care of the State is not available in Ireland. If the child has a serious psychiatric condition,  for which there is no appropriate facility in Ireland,  a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist may recommend to the Court that the child requires treatment in a secure hospital. In such situations, Tusla will, as necessary, initiate proceedings seeking to have a child declared a ward of court. This provides the legal authority to allow for treatment of the child  in suitable secure facilities out of state.

I have asked Tusla for a detailed breakdown of the number of children under Wardship arrangements placed abroad and the cost of secure placements. We will share this information with you at the earliest convenience. As you can appreciate, the impact of the recent cyber-attack on HSE systems has disrupted the normal functioning of Tusla’s information systems.

Tusla works in partnership with the specialist service with a view to the child returning to their primary placement or another appropriate placement in Ireland. In the course of any out of state placements (foster care, open therapeutic residential care and secure treatment and care) the child’s social worker visits the child, monitors their care and progress and adjust the child's care plan as necessary. Their Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist keeps abreast of the child’s psychiatric progress.


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