Child welfare

Print FriendlyPrint This Article

Future of the Family Support Agency, new children’s agency

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, told Caoimhghin O Caolain (SF, Cavan Monaghan) that no decisions had been made as to the future of the family resource centre programme, but she assured him that the Family Support Agency would be consulted by the taskforce now establishing the new child and family support agency  (Dail Eireann, Debates, 3rd November 2011, 591-2).  The task force had met on a number of occasions, with subgroups addressing governance, management and the transition from the HSE.  She expected to receive preliminary reports in the next couple of months and she was working to the establishment of the new agency by January 2013.  Later, she told Sean Fleming (FF, Laois Offaly) that the task force had been asked to consider what services should be transferred from the outset and those later, which should be directly provided and those which should be commissioned (Dail Eireann, Debates, 3rd November, 603-40).  The task force met for the fifth time that day and its report would inform preparations for the new agency and the drafting of legislation.  It was her intention that there be a dedicated child and family programme within the HSE in 2013, with a dedicated management structure and budget for children and family services.  This would be led by the present national director Gordon Jeyes who already had a close working relationship with her and the department. This was an integral part of the preparations for a new stand alone agency.  She envisaged tabling legislation next year to provide for the agency’s establishment in 2013.