herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Teens in UK care cost €60k per week

CHILDREN and teenagers at extreme risk of self-harm and suicide that are in the care of the State are being given specialised treatment abroad at a cost of more than €60,000 per week.

The treatment for the vulnerable children who have been sent abroad on High Court Orders because they're so at risk is not available here, according to a spokesperson for the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Currently there are ten children, on High Court detention orders, detained in specialised units overseas -- eight in the UK and two in Nebraska, USA.

These placements allow for access to specialised therapeutic services or where a secure place is urgently needed, according to the minister's spokesperson.

Three children are in Scotland, four children are in Northampton and one child is in Peterborough, and their treatment and placement abroad is reviewed by the High Court on a monthly basis.

The cost is approximately €6,685 per child per week for children in Scotland, and at St Andrew's, Northampton it's ¤7,821 per child per week.

The cost for St Claire's, Peterborough is ¤7,821, and the cost for Boystown, Nebraska is ¤2,063 per child per week.



inappropriate

In total, the State pays over €63,000 per week to these facilities for the care of these vulnerable young people.

Deputy Patrick Nulty TD, who requested the information from the minister in a written question, said it's "wholly inappropriate" that these children should be separated from their families because the State cannot provide proper care.

"The continued detention of ten Irish children in specialised units abroad is unacceptable," he said.

"It is outrageous that in 2012 the needs of these children are not met in Ireland."

ggittens@herald.ie

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