Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has expressed serious concern over the lack of provision of aftercare workers for children who are transitioning out of the social care sector.

New figures released to Deputy Rabbitte reveal that almost 60% of children aged between 16 and 17 do not have an allocated aftercare worker.

Deputy Rabbitte explained, “Aftercare workers play a vital role in ensuring that young people, who are exiting the social care system, are equipped with the skills to plan for their future.  The relationship between the aftercare worker and the teenager is extremely important and it is imperative that they feel comfortable discussing their plans with their aftercare worker.

“This relationship needs to built up over time.  You can’t simply parachute somebody in at the last minute and expect young people to share their worries and fears with them.

“Minister Zappone has herself acknowledged how difficult the transition out of care can be for young people.  However, her Department has completely failed to offer them any support. In some areas, such as Carlow-Kilkenny-South Tipperary, only 8% of cases have an allocated aftercare worker.

“I am calling on Minister Zappone to explain why the number of allocated aftercare workers is so low and will be continuing to press her to start delivering in this area”.