Foster Care Regulations Ireland Essay Sample
The following essay sample work shall highlight the meaning of child fostering, the role of the Child and Family Agency called Tusla, the rights of the child in foster care in Ireland, and the role of a foster carer in Ireland.
Fostering is the process of taking care of a young child or dependant in his own family setting or under the foster care placement. A child is not able to take care of his own needs within his own family on a short and long-term basis.
Such a child has either faced trauma due to death in his family, neglect from parents, abuse, violence, and different forms of harassment which becomes very difficult to cope up with in the future.
In such a situation a child is placed in foster care placement and is returned to his family as soon as possible. Such fostered children are below 18 years of age.
Foster care is governed by Child Care Act, 1991 in Ireland. National Standards for Foster Care, 2003 ensures that the foster care home is supported adequately so that the children can receive the best possible care.
In the year 2020, 65% of Irish children are placed in general foster care, 26% in relative foster care, and the rest 9% in other residential care homes in Ireland.
Role of TUSLA
Tusla (nonstatutory body) is called the Child and Family Agency in Ireland which can assess, train and recruit foster families for the children in accordance with their needs. It supports not only the children but also their respective families.
The social worker is assigned to each family for every child who on a regular basis is being monitored for his growth and development by ensuring delivery of the best care services. Such a social worker also helps families in various situations.
The primary focus of the Child and Family Agency is on the development of communication and relationship between the foster child and his own family or foster family.
Tusla takes up the responsibility of the child as the foster parents do not have any guardianship rights of the child. These children can either be placed on a voluntary basis or through a legal order of the court.
Rights of a Child in Foster Care in Ireland
Any child in Ireland has the basic rights as an adult. He has the right to get his rights protected from any form of abuse or exploitation irrespective of any age.
There are private or government agencies and social groups which can help the children to meet their needs. They are supported, guided, and supervised by the carers. The Child and Family Agency, Tusla takes care of the rights of children when they are placed in foster care placements.
Daily needs and decisions of the carers affect the overall growth and development of a child. The social worker has a duty to draw a care plan which has to be according to the ‘National Standards of Foster Care’.
Following are the rights of a child under the foster care placement:-
- Children have the right to receive appropriate care according to their individual and social needs, age, culture, gender, religion, and other needs. They must be able to exercise their rights consistently and independently by meeting their needs and attaining development.
- They are supposed to be given private space and other social opportunities in accordance with their needs. They must be even encouraged to develop their skills, interests, abilities, and aptitudes.
- Children must be heard by carers and foster families about their various issues and concerns. They can present their personal views and opinions according to their age, individual needs, and stage of development.
- Children can have easy access to any information about the care services provided to them and such information must be made available according to their needs, choices, and opinions of the child.
Any such information can also be corrected by the child with help of appropriate support in case of any inaccuracy in the information. It must be consistent with the age, needs, and stage of development of a child.
- Children have the right to make official complaints against the care services provided to them. A written copy of the complaint according to the age must be handed over to the child. Such a complaint must be handled professionally.
Role of a Foster Carer in Ireland
There is a care plan which is being drawn by the social worker in accordance with the care needs of a child and HSE plays a vital role in the life of a child to provide him with the best possible care suitable for him.
HSE places the child under foster care placement only if services seem satisfied. They also allow parents to be equally involved in the life of the child.
There are checks that are to be considered while establishing a person’s rights to become a foster carer. Some of them are the Garda clearance checks, child and family agency address checks, school references, health checks, standard safety checks, financial stability checks, etc.
Additional training, support, and equipment are provided to carers who need to care for children with additional needs. In Ireland over 90% of children are living under foster care.
It is the duty of the state to safeguard and protect the rights of children for their welfare. When parents fail to perform their duties for their children then the responsibility of care shifts to the Child and Family Agency under the Childcare Act, 1991. It confers both statutory duties and powers on Tusla to deliver care to the children.
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The above-written essay sample is based on foster care regulations in Ireland and aspects related to them.
Childcare QQI Level 5, Child Development Course QQI Level 5, Careskills QQI Level 5, Law QQI Level 5, and Child Health and Wellbeing QQI Level 5 students can benefit from reading this essay sample to gain professional skills in writing such essays and assignments.
We have related assignments on the topic of this essay available on our Irish website. Some of the related assignments are Training Foster Parents in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Children and Families Act, 2014, Adoption Act 1988, Child Amendment Act 2007, and Legislations and Policy Frameworks which influence foster care.
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