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Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD echoes calls for foster care reform

2 March, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

This morning the Irish Association of Social Workers launched their document “Foster Care: Envisioning the Future”. They called on the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs to set up a Working Party on Foster Care to review and develop the provision of foster care in Ireland. Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs welcomed this initiative, and echoed calls for Foster Care reform. 

He said;

“Foster care in Ireland provides a vital service for some of the most vulnerable children in the state. It provides them with a second chance when the first has been exhausted. These children deserve a quality of life much like anyone else, and deserve a system of high quality to see to it that their needs are met.”

“Foster care provides homes for 93% of children in care in Ireland today. With those families and carers we would face an unprecedented crisis. Social workers who work diligently in this area are stretched to their limits. It is my understanding that recommended best practice for Social Worker caseloads is roughly 15. However there are some workers which face close to double that number.” 

“Foster care in Ireland, although quite progressive, still faces many challenges. Many of these challenges can be tackled by adequate resourcing, but I acknowledge is not limited to just this issue.” 

“I echo the calls made by the Irish Association of Social Workers for the Minister to establish a Working Group on Foster Care in the near future. The establishment of such a group may go a long way to addressing some of the pitfalls in Foster Care, and be of great benefit to children in care as a result.”

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