Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has welcomed the publication of the Childcare (Amendment) Bill 2015 which will ensure an aftercare plan for all eligible children and young people once leaving state care.
The Ratoath based TD said “for the first time ever children and young people will have the right for an aftercare plan which will ensure the smooth transition from state care to independent living. This truly is fantastic progress; our young people will no longer feel alone or isolated when entering into independent living for the first time. “We will now provide continued support to meet the needs of a young person who is leaving statutory care at 18 years of age. I have lost count of the number of foster carers and foster children who have come to be with an unimaginable burden of worry about transitioning into independent living. This Bill, once passed through the Oireachtas, will require Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to prepare an aftercare plan for the eligible child or young person.”Doherty continued “it is hard to believe that only ten years ago aftercare was non-existent. This Bill is just shows how far we have come that in a matter of months, aftercare will be a right of the child or young person. “This has come about in recognition of the particular challenges linked to moving into independent adult living – challenges shared by all young people but that may prove a greater hurdle for some leaving State care.” The Meath East TD concluded “I know that this means so much to so many carers and young people not only in Meath but right across the country. Today, we are finally recognising and responding to the particular vulnerability attached to some care leavers lays the foundations for better aftercare support.”