Please see the following DCYA Statement
Reviewing laws for children in crisis – Consultation begins
‘Laws to be updated to reflect a quarter of a century of change’
Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone
Friday 15th December, 2017
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is inviting written submissions in the context of reviewing the 1991 Child Care Act. This follows on from a Government commitment to “review, and if necessary, reform the Child Care Act 1991.”
The Act is a key piece of legislation that gives the State powers to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The Act also enables the State to protect children in emergencies.
Importantly, the legislation empowers the State, as a last resort, to take children into the care of the State. It lays down rules for care proceedings and sets out the arrangements which may be made by Tusla in looking after children in care.
Although the Act has undergone some amendments, many of its key provisions have been in force for 26 years.
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone said:
“It is time to review the legislation in light of key developments such as the creation of the Child and Family Agency and the 31st amendment to the Constitution on children’s rights. There have been changes in practice in the area of child protection and welfare promotion within the last quarter of a century and we need to ensure that the legislation supports these.
My Department is now commencing a written consultation process and is inviting submissions on how best to reform and revise the 1991 Act. The aim is to develop legislation that is informed by the knowledge and experience of relevant organisations and individuals. Submissions will be accepted until late February to provide contributors sufficient time to prepare detailed submissions.”
In encouraging all interested parties to participate, the Minister added, “The new Act will provide the foundation for the child protection, welfare and care system in Ireland for many years to come. This written consultation process offers a valuable opportunity to influence the development of this landmark piece of legislation.”
Note to editors:
1. All queries and submissions should be sent to ChildCareAct1991@dcya.gov.ie.
2. Interested organisations and individuals can make submissions from today (15th December) until 4pm on Friday, 23rd February 2017.
3. The Department commenced the public consultation by organising an Open Policy Debate in Dublin Castle on the 5th September 2017.The written consultation is the second step in the consultation process.
4. Background information on the written consultation, report on the Open Policy Debate and further information on the review of the 1991 Act is available at the Department’s website at www.dcya.gov.ie .
5. The commitment mentioned above is set out in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures – the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020.