Child Welfare and Protection

Children in care are those children who are not living with their families but are in the care of the State. This includes those in residential care, foster care and special care. They are a vulnerable group of children and as a result a child centred, comprehensive child protection service with sufficient supports and professionals must be in place to assist these children through childhood and into adulthood.

Key Statistics

  • At the end of September 2017 there were 6,230 children living in care, 95% of these had an allocated social worker and 93% had a written care plan in place. (Source: Tusla Integrated Performance and Activity Report, Quarter 3 2017)
  • At the end of September 2017 there were 25,919 open child welfare and protection cases and 5,284 had not yet been allocated a social worker. Of these unallocated cases 966 were deemed high priority and 357 of these cases had been waiting for longer than three months. (Source: Tusla Integrated Performance and Activity Report, Quarter 3 2017)
  • In 2016, there were 47,399 child welfare and protection referrals received by social workers, this was an increase of 9% on the previous year. (Tusla Integrated Performance and Activity Report, Quarter 1 2017)
  • Of the cases referred to Tusla in 2016 60% (28,312) were child welfare concerns and 40% (19,087) were child abuse / neglect concerns. (Tusla Integrated Performance and Activity Report, Quarter 1 2017)

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