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25 Jun 2022

A total of 226 children were in care in Donegal at the end of last year

Half were taken into care last year under a voluntary agreement

A total of 226 children were in care in Donegal at the end of last year

A total of 226 children were in care in Donegal at the end of last year, according to Tulsa, the State’s dedicated Child and Family Agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children

It has now emerged that there has been a six-fold increase in the number of children admitted to care in Donegal over the past five years by Tusla using voluntary care orders

A total of 25 children were taken into care last year under a voluntary agreement -  50% of those taken into care in the county during the year -  up from just four back in 2017.

Meanwhile, the total number of children in care under a voluntary agreement in Donegal stood at 41 at the end of 2021, according to the latest figures available.

A voluntary care order occurs when a parent or parents gives permission to Tusla social workers to take the child/children into state care without going through the family court system. 

Statutory care is when Tusla apply to court for an order to place a child/children in care. 

A total of 50 children were admitted to care by Tulsa in the county in 2021, to bring the total number in care up to 226.

The findings emerged in a response from Tusla  - the child and family agency - to a question from Deputy Mattie McGrath, leader of the Rural Independent Group.

He tabled the question on behalf of the Alliance of Birthmothers Campaigning for Justice to the Minister for Children, Roderic O'Gorman,  relating to the number of children in State care in each of Tusla’s 17 service areas that are subject to voluntary care orders. 

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