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There were 6,500 children in care at the end of May

The majority were in foster care.

Image: Child's hand via Shutterstock

OVER 6,500 CHILDREN were in State care at the end of May, a new report from the Child and Family agency Tusla shows.

6,517 children were in some form of state care, the report says.

The vast majority, around 93%, were in foster care, while 6% were in residential care and the final 1% were in other care placements.

16 children were in residential special care in units in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, three were in a high support unit.

Of those in foster care, 64% (4,182) were in a foster care general placement. This equates to a rise of 28 children in this placement type compared to April 2014; but equals the December 2013 percentage figure of 64%.

256 (6%) of all children in foster care general (4,182) were in a private placement at the end of May 2014. This was an increase of 35 over the same period last year from 221.

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The report adds that while most children had care plans and were well looked after, staffing levels impacted care.

“Vacancies and available staffing in some areas continue to adversely affect performance. This is particularly notable in Cavan/Monaghan and Dublin South West/Kildare West Wicklow where difficulties will remain without an increase in staffing levels.”

Overall, the report says that 89 social work posts were outstanding at the end of May.

Read: Is one inspector for 21,000 kids good enough?… Fresh questions raised over Ireland’s creches

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