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Home > 73. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the steps he has taken in the past four years to address the major challenges faced by the families of drug abusers who are incapable of rearing their own children, including steps to inform the grandparents or other relatives who are caring for such children of their rights and entitlements in this regard and the way to go about legally adopting, fostering or otherwise caring for their siblings children. [14969/07]

[Oireachtas] 73. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the steps he has taken in the past four years to address the major challenges faced by the families of drug abusers who are incapable of rearing their own children, including steps to inform the grandparents or other relatives who are caring for such children of their rights and entitlements in this regard and the way to go about legally adopting, fostering or otherwise caring for their siblings children. [14969/07]. (24 Apr 2007)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2007/04/24/00046...


Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): The Deputy will appreciate that statutory responsibility for childcare, and issues relating to childcare, rests with the Office of the Minister for Children which oversees the provision of services relating to legally adopting, fostering or otherwise caring for children whose parents — whether for reasons relating to problem drug use or otherwise — are incapable of rearing their children. It is open to family members to engage with these services to seek appropriate information to facilitate the pursuit of the best option that takes into consideration the well-being of both the child/children and the parent(s). I have long been of the opinion that families of problem drug users need to have appropriate, accessible and timely services available to help them cope with the problems they are facing.

This issue is reflected in Action 108 of the National Drugs Strategy, which was recommended in the mid-term review of the Strategy in 2005. It seeks the active encouragement by the Drug Task Forces to prioritise the provision of family services in their areas and to support family support networks in their work in the area of information provision and assistance to local family support groups. In this context, the Deputy should note that, since 2005, approximately €1.1 million has been allocated to 16 projects that have a family support aspect to their activities under the Emerging Needs Fund. Under the Regional Drug Task Force plans, 18 projects with strong family support elements have been allocated funding of €1.7 million for 2007. These additional funds augment the activities of a further 126 projects across all LDTF areas that have a family support dimension to their programmes. I am also expecting to shortly receive a recommendation from the National Drugs Strategy Team for an increased role for the Family Support Network. Vol. 636 No. 1 Written Answers Tuesday, 24 April 2007

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