Legislation currently being prepared by the Department
Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill
The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill was published on 25th November 2016.
The main purpose of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 is to provide for a scheme whereby adoption information, including information required to obtain a birth certificate, may be provided to an adopted person subject to certain conditions. The Bill also provides that birth parents and other persons may obtain information about an adopted person, subject to the other party's consent. The Bill further provides that a person who may have been the subject of an 'informal care arrangement' or an 'incorrect registration' and a birth parent of that person is entitled to apply for information under Part 5 of the Bill.
Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016
This legislation follows on from the enactment of the Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Act 2012 which was signed into law on 28 April 2015. The main purpose of this proposed legislation is to amend the Adoption Act 2010 to provide for:
• the voluntary placement for adoption and adoption of a child of married parents, and
• the dispensing with parental consent to adoption in circumstances where the High Court is satisfied that the parents of a child have failed in their duty towards that child for a continuous period of 36 months or more and where it is considered likely that such failure will continue, and where adoption is considered to be in the best interest of the child.
This Bill also proposes to amend the Adoption Act 2010 to reflect the adoption provisions provided for in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 as well as provide for sole step-parent adoption. The Bill was published on 5th May 2016 and is currently being progressed through the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2017
On 17th January 2017, Government gave its approval for the publication of a General Scheme of the Child Care (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and its referral to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs for pre-legislative scrutiny.
The main purpose of the General Scheme is to replace the existing provision in Section 26 of the 1991 Child Care Act with more extensive provisions relating to Guardians ad litem. The overall objective is to ensure that the Guardian ad litem service can be provided to benefit the greatest number of children and young people, so that their voices can be heard in child care proceedings and that this service will be of high quality and sustainable into the future.
General Scheme of the Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2017
The Affordable Childcare Scheme Bill 2017
The Affordable Childcare Scheme Bill 2017 will place the Affordable Childcare Scheme on a legislative footing, replacing four existing, non-statutory childcare schemes. The scheme will provide for subsidies to be paid to make childcare more affordable for parents, including both childcare for pre-school children and childcare for school-age children, including “wrap-around” childcare during term-times and full-time childcare during holiday periods.
The Affordable Childcare Scheme is a new national scheme of financial support for parents towards the cost of their childcare. It will replace the existing targeted childcare subsidisation schemes with a single, streamlined and more user-friendly scheme.
The new scheme will provide a system from which both universal and targeted subsidies can be provided towards the cost of childcare. In the case of targeted subsidies, these will be payable for children from 6 months of age up to 15 years of age. The level of subsidy will depend on the investment available and on a family’s income.
Budget 2017 enabled a universal subsidy to be payable for children between the ages of 6 and 36 months (or until the child qualifies for the free pre-school programme if later) who are availing of childcare by a Tusla registered childcare service. The universal subsidy will not be means-tested and will be available for families at any income level.
The Affordable Childcare Scheme will also create a flexible platform for future investment in childcare funding supports, allowing subsidies to be expanded to more children and families over time.
The new scheme will replace four targeted childcare schemes:
o Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP).
o Childcare Education and Training Support Programme (CETS).
o After-School Child Care Programme (ASCC).
o Community Employment Childcare Programme (CEC).
The new Affordable Childcare Scheme will not replace ECCE, the current free scheme for 3 and 4-year olds, as it is intended to provide “wraparound" care for pre-school and school-age children. For the first time, it will therefore be possible for a child in the ECCE scheme also to benefit from a subsidy for additional childcare use.
Adoption (Information and Tracing (No.2)) Bill
Provisions relating to an information and tracing service for a person who has been the subject of an inter country adoption were originally included in the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 (see above). It is now proposed to include those provisions in a separate Bill. The Department is continuing to develop policy in this regard and has committed to introducing information and tracing legislation in relation to inter country adoptions as soon as possible.
Legislation relevant to the Department
Legislation enacted since the establishment of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs
- · Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015
- · Children First Act 2015
- · Children (Amendment) Act 2015
- · Adoption (Amendment) Act 2013
- · Child and Family Agency Act 2013
- · Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Act 2012
- · Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011
Other legislation for which the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has responsibility
• Adoption Act 2010
• Child Care (Amendment) Act 2007
• Children Act 2001
• Youth Work Act 2001
• Education Welfare Act 2000
• Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998
• Child Care Act 1991
Restatement and Revision of Act
A restated or revised Act is an administrative consolidation of that Act. It brings together in a single text all amendments and changes to an Act, making the law more accessible for all users.
The Statute Law (Restatement) Act 2002 provides that the Attorney General may certify the text of a restatement, which allows it to be used as prima facie evidence of the law in question. The Law Reform Commission has prepared a body of restatements under its two programmes of restatement and it intends to ensure that this work is maintained up-to-date on an ongoing basis. Because it may not be practicable to have each update certified, the Commission is making available uncertified restatements and will refer to these as Revised Acts. The term ‘Revised Acts’ is often used in other States, such as Australia and New Zealand to describe such administrative consolidations of Acts. (Source Law Reform Commission)
For more information on the programme of restatements see the Law Reform Commission.
Acts which are relevant to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs which have been restated or revised by the Law Reform Commission are listed below:
Please note that these documents are restated or revised up to a particular date which is indicated. The documents do not include any amendments which have been made to the Acts after that date.
The Irish Statue Book (eISB)
The electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB) is produced by the Office of the Attorney General and includes Acts of the Oireachtas, Statutory Instruments and the Legislation Directory, which can be accessed on their website.