Published at: 23 July 2020
Last updated 23 July 2020
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is inviting written submissions on its initial proposals to amend the 1991 Child Care Act.
The Child Care Act 1991 is the key piece of legislation whereby the State, as a last resort and for the common good, may intervene to supply the place of parents as provided for under Article 42A.2.1. Although the Act has undergone some amendment (such as to make provision for special care), many of its key provisions have been in place for 25 years. Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People contains a specific commitment – under the outcome of children being safe and protected from harm – to ‘review and reform, as necessary, the Child Care Act, 1991′.
The purpose of the review is to:
- Identify what is working well within the legislation, including its impact on policy and practice;
- Address any identified gaps and new areas for development;
- Capture current legislative, policy and practice developments;
- Building on those steps, revise the original legislation.
The Department is seeking to ensure that this review results in a child-centred structure, where:
- The child’s best interests, welfare and protection are paramount;
- Children’s rights are respected and vindicated; their views are heard and given due weight;
- Families are listened to, supported and empowered to raise their children in a caring, nurturing and supportive environment; and
- Implementation and best practice are supported through collegiate interagency working, based on clear principles and robust operational protocols and systems.
The Department has consulted extensively with stakeholders, has developed proposals covering a number of key areas of the Act and is now inviting comment on these from interested parties.
The Minister noted:
“The Child Care Act 1991 was a transformative piece of legislation, helping to promote the protection of children. We want to build on that, making the Act more child-centred, and taking account of recent developments like the 2015 Children’s Rights referendum, which gave constitutional recognition to children as individual rights holders.
“This written consultation process offers stakeholders a valuable opportunity to influence the development of this landmark piece of legislation and to ensure that it is informed by the knowledge and experience of relevant organisations and individuals.”
1. All queries and submissions should be sent to ChildCareAct1991@dcya.gov.ie
2. Interested organisations and individuals can make submissions from today until 11 September 2020.
3. Background information to the Review of the 1991 Act including information on the public consultation to date is available at Review of the Child Care Act 1991