Dáil Éireann - Volume 458 - 21 November, 1995

Written Answers. - Qualification for Allowances.

75. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Health the steps, if any, that are being taken to inform relatives who qualify for payment of allowances in view of his reply to Parliamentary Question No. 99 of 7 November 1995. [17161/95]

Minister for State at the Department of Health (Mr. Currie): As I indicated in reply to a question on 7 November, health boards have, in the past, assisted in placing a small number of children in their care with relatives who had not been approved as foster parents. As no foster care allowance was payable in such cases, the relatives in question received assistance under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme.

The position of relatives who are looking after children in the care of health boards had been regularised under the provisions of the Child Care (Placement of Children with Relatives) Regulations 1995, which came into operation on 31 October last. These provide for the payment of allowances to relatives who have children placed with them by health boards in accordance with the regulations.

My Department issued general guidelines to the chief executive officers of each health board on 25 October last in relation to the payment of allowances to relatives in accordance with the provisions of the new regulations. If the Deputy is aware of any particular difficulties being experienced by relatives who are looking after a child on behalf [963] of a health board, and if he lets me have the relevant details, I will take up the matter with the board in question.