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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Ban on older foster parents to be lifted in the New Year

The ban will end next year.

Image: Shutterstock/ivkatefoto

CHILD AND FAMILY agency Tusla is to remove the controversial 40 year age gap required between potential foster parents and the child they wish to care for.

In a parliamentary question to Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone, Independent TD Mattie McGrath asked whether the ban was to be removed.

She responded: “I have raised this matter with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, and it has been confirmed that a formal review of the foster care committee policy and guidelines is underway.

“In the revised policy, the reference to the 40 year age gap will be removed and it is anticipated that this will be completed for implementation before the end of the year.”

Relief

Welcoming the announcement, McGrath said: “This is a matter that has generated serious concern, particularly among grandparents, since I first highlighted the issue several months ago.

“It is the kind of guideline that made absolutely no sense and was essentially discriminatory in character.

“I am delighted that the minister has kept her word to me about having this matter investigated.

This will come as a huge relief to many caregivers and relatives as well as those seeking to become foster parents to vulnerable children.

Earlier this year, we reported how a young child was removed from the care of its grandparents and placed with foster carers after claims the grandparents were too old to look after the child.

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