Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has called on the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, to review a decision made by a Foster Care Committee to remove a child from the custody of its grandparents.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “If the details as reported on this case are correct, then it is extremely worrying that this child was removed from the custody of his grandparents.
“According to a letter seen by reporters, this child was taken out of his grandparents’ care primarily because of their age, and that there was a 40 year age gap between the child and his grandparents.
“Questions need to be answered in this case specifically, as to why it was deemed in the best interests of this child to be removed from close family members, despite positive testimonies from the child’s school principal, a local GP and a consultant paediatrician.
“In wider policy terms, foster placement guidelines as set by Tusla may need to undergo a root and branch review.
“I do not believe it is in children’s best interests if it is the case that immediate family members, such as grandparents – who already have a strong bond with the child, and who would otherwise be suitable foster parents – are not being considered because the 40 year guideline is the overriding criteria considered by the Foster Care Committees. This should be reviewed to ensure that the well-being of the child is always the primary consideration in the decision making process”.