The Child and Family Agency also said it could not provide any additional details regarding whether any other children had been placed in the same foster setting at the same time as the alleged perpetrator, or if there was any other allegation of abuse relating to it.
The circumstances surrounding the placement have come under scrutiny after the sentencing judge in the case involving the boy’s father referred to it when jailing the man for 14 years this week.
The boy’s father, a 66-year-old man, was sentenced to 14 years in prison last Monday after the court heard details of horrific abuse carried out against his son.
The Central Criminal Court heard that from the time the boy turned six he was raped by his father on a number of occasions and that he was also locked in a box.
The boy’s father continues to deny the abuse and has signalled that he will appeal.
The boy was removed from the family home just before his eighth birthday in 2011, but in the subsequent foster placement he was sexually abused by another young person. He was then moved into another foster placement, where he was happier. He later made disclosures regarding the abuse by his father.
In his sentencing remarks Mr Justice Robert Eagar said it had not been wise to put the boy in the foster home where he was sexually abused and that it was “quite clear” there was a large amount of sexual abuse occurring in the house.
Responding to questions from theTusla said: “It can be confirmed that the child was placed with experienced foster carers. There was/ is no allegation of abuse against the foster carers, nor were there any concerns about this placement when the decision was made to place the child there. Any concerns raised in the course of the placement were addressed in line with ‘Children First’ guidelines, including liaison with An Garda Síochána.”
As to whether or not other children were in a placement at the same time as the alleged perpetrator, or if there were any other allegations, a spokesperson for the Child and Family Agency said: “As this is an individual case, it would be inappropriate for Tusla to comment further.”
Foster placements in the south-east were already under scrutiny following revelations in the ‘Grace’ case involving a woman with serious intellectual difficulties who was left in a foster placement where it is alleged she suffered abuse.
A Tusla spokesperson said: “In relation to fostering placements, each child is placed in a care setting appropriate to his/her needs in accordance his/her Care Plan. In the majority of cases, the best place for a child in care is in a foster placement in their own community. In making foster care placements, Tusla matches each child with a foster carer who is best suited to meet the child’s identified needs. In some cases, this may be a relative, in others it is with a general foster carer.”
Tusla said all foster carers are vetted and approved through formal Foster Care Committees and any concerns relating to a child in foster care are managed in line with ‘Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children’.