Eight children get special care abroad
EIGHT CHILDREN are receiving special care in facilities outside the State, according to the Minister for Children.
Frances Fitzgerald said four young people were in St Andrew’s, Northampton, Britain, at a cost of €12,584 a week each. Two children were in Kibble, a specialist facility in Scotland, which costs €6,685 a week each. Two children were in Boystown, Nebraska, US, at a cost of €2,017 a week each.
Ms Fitzgerald said placement in facilities outside the State “is done on as infrequent a basis as possible”. The HSE in exceptional cases provided overseas placements for “an individually-tailored mix of care and highly-specialised therapeutic services and psychiatric treatment not available in this country”.
Sinn Féin spokesman on children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin questioned the Minister’s plans to ensure children with special care needs received care within the State. He was concerned at remarks by the Minister that the “referral of persons abroad for specialised therapeutic interventions is an established feature within our health and social care system”.
Mr Ó Caoláin, who said the cost of care was more than €400,000 for some of those children, asked if there had been any “exploration” with the North’s authorities of providing these specialised supports.
Ms Fitzgerald said Ireland’s special care facilities, high-support units and detention services “represent an area that needs attention”. The question of “whatever specialist services we can provide in Ireland” would form part of her work.