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New Bill aims for greater oversight of foster care arrangements – Mitchell

10 July, 2018 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD today introduced a Bill aimed at ensuring greater oversight for legislators of foster care agreements.

Introducing the Child and Family Agency (Foster Care Oversight) Bill 2018, Deputy Mitchell told the Dáil:

“This is a straightforward and necessary Bill which will place a statutory obligation on the child and family agency Tusla to publish statistics for the number of children in care annually, as well as noting any changes to care orders.

“I know I speak for many deputies in this House when I say that we have had difficulties in accessing information from Tusla on this issue. Many feel there is something of a closed loop between Tusla and the Department.”

Deputy Mitchell also noted the concerns raised by advocacy groups, care leavers and campaigners around the length of time some young people are spending on voluntary care agreements:

“While many Voluntary care agreements are used appropriately, there is a feeling that in some cases it is a ‘quick fix’ to avoid going through the courts and securing a more appropriate type of agreement or order.

“In some cases, children have spent most of their lives on what is supposed to be a temporary agreement which could be ended at any time. For many young people, there can be a complete lack of security.”

In summing up the Bill, Deputy Mitchell said:

“This is a straightforward Bill that is about ensuring transparency, and that we as legislators have up to date statistics and data when it comes to the most vulnerable children in our care system.”

Note: Please see the Bill attached

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