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Children Under One Year Old Placed in Unregulated Care by Tusla Last Year - Tóibín

According to data released to the Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD, following a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Children, a child under a year old was placed in a 'Special Emergency Arrangement" by Tusla last year. 


Tusla has openly admitted in a letter to the Meath West TD that these settings are 'unregulated', and often in rented accommodation. 


Speaking today, Deputy Tóibín said: "This is deeply concerning information. Special Emergency Arrangements consist of unregulated accommodation, mostly by third party providers, in rented accommodation and we know from reports in the media that there are some serious question marks over the vetting standards of these providers. Tusla is in crisis, with more children than ever before referred to the agency last year. A shortage of foster placements, coupled with consistent underfunding of the private and voluntary sector, has meant the agency is relying more and more on these dodgy companies for the care of very vulnerable children". 



Deputy Tóibín continued: "We also know that since 2014 Tusla has paid over €93 million to these companies for special emergency accommodation. It would make far more sense to pump this money into the voluntary and regulated care providers. There are over 170 children in State care in these unregulated settings at any given time in recent months. We in Aontú have done a lot of research in this area and it's clear that a disaster is occuring before our eyes in terms of child protection. Many of these vulnerable children are being left very exposed to criminal and sexual exploitation / trafficking". 


"I have met with representative groups of the voluntary sector, I have met with representatives of foster carers - significant investment in the voluntary sector is required immediately. Foster carers need better financial support, and there needs to be a huge recruitment drive for foster carers. The report on Primetime underscores the need to end 'Special Emergency Arrangements" as a matter of urgency. This is a humanitarian crisis in our country, and an emergency response is needed", concluded Tóibín. 

By Aontú Press | 10 May, 2024

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