|Previous (PART 10 Children Detention Schools)
|Next (PART 12 Protection OF Children)
CHILDREN ACT, 2001
Special Residential Services Board
Interpretation (Part 11).
225. —(1) In this Part—
“Board” means the Special Residential Services Board established pursuant to section 226 ;
“Minister” means the Minister for Health and Children;
“special care unit” has the meaning assigned to it by section 23K (inserted by section 16 ) of the Act of 1991.
(2) Any function, duty or power of the Minister under this Part shall be performed, carried out or exercised only with the prior written agreement of the Minister for Education and Science and, unless the context otherwise requires, references to “the Ministers” are references to both of those Ministers.
Special Residential Services Board.
226. —(1) On the commencement of this section there shall stand established a body, to be known as the Special Residential Services Board, or in the Irish language An Bord Seirbhísí Cónaithe Spesialta, to perform the functions assigned to it by this Part.
(2) The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and an official seal and power to sue and be sued in its corporate name and, with the consent of the Ministers, to acquire, hold and dispose of land (including rights over or in respect of land) or any other property.
(3) The Board shall, subject to the provisions of this Part, be independent in the exercise of its functions.
Functions of Board.
227. —(1) The Board shall advise the Ministers on policy relating to the remand and detention of children and ensure the efficient, effective and coordinated delivery of services to children in respect of whom children detention orders or special care orders are made and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, shall—
(a) coordinate the delivery of residential accommodation and support services to children detained in children detention schools and special care units,
(b) ensure the appropriate and efficient utilisation of such schools and units, having particular regard to the principle that detention of children in children detention schools or special care units is a measure of last resort,
(c) liaise with courts in relation to the level and nature of services available for children who are charged with offences or in need of special care or protection,
(d) in particular, assist the courts, on request, in identifying suitable places in children detention schools for children found guilty of offences and for that purpose liaise with the directors of those schools,
(e) give its views on any proposal of a health board, pursuant to section 23A(2)(b) (inserted by section 16 ) of the Act of 1991, to apply for a special care order under Part IVA of that Act,
(f) monitor and regularly review the level and nature of such residential accommodation and support services, having regard to the current and anticipated demand for them, and recommend to the Ministers any adjustments in the provision of such accommodation or services which the Board considers to be necessary,
(g) promote, organise or take part in seminars, conferences, lectures or demonstrations (whether in the State or elsewhere) relating to the detention of children or delinquent behaviour by children,
(h) collect, maintain, research and evaluate statistics and other data relating to the detention of children, and
(i) ensure a coordinated approach to—
(i) the development and provision of educational, cultural and linguistic, child care and other programmes for children detained in such schools and units,
(ii) the development and provision of the physical infrastructure necessary to support the programmes and services provided by those schools and units, and
(iii) the training of the staff of children detention schools and special care units.
(2) Where the Board considers that there is a lack of coordination in the provision of residential accommodation to children detained in children detention schools and special care units or that the support services to such children are not being utilised in an appropriate or efficient manner, it shall make appropriate recommendations to the Ministers for the improvement of such coordination or utilisation.
(3) The Board, in performing its functions, shall have regard to the policies and objectives of the Government or any Minister of the Government in so far as they may affect or relate to those functions.
(4) The Board shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the exercise of its functions.
Assignment of other functions.
228. —(1) The Minister may by order assign to the Board such other functions as the Minister considers to be incidental to or consequential on the functions conferred on it by section 227 .
(2) An order under this section may be revoked or amended by the Minister, including an order under this section.
(3) An order under this section shall be laid by the Minister before each House of the Oireachtas.
229. —(1) The Minister may from time to time give directions to the Board in relation to such matters of policy as the Minister considers appropriate having regard to the provisions of this Act, and the Board shall comply with any such directions.
(2) Directions under subsection (1) shall not apply to the treatment of any individual child detained in a children detention school or special care unit.
Membership, etc., of Board.
230. —(1) The Board shall consist of a chairperson and 12 other members, who shall be appointed to be members of the Board by the Minister and who shall hold and vacate office, subject to subsection (4), on such terms and conditions as the Ministers, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may determine.
(2) (a) The Minister shall, from time to time as occasion requires, appoint a member of the Board to be its chairperson.
(b) Where the chairperson ceases during his or her term of office as such chairperson to be a member of the Board, he or she shall thereupon cease to be its chairperson.
(c) The chairperson shall, unless he or she sooner dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office as chairperson, hold office as such chairperson until his or her term of office as a member of the Board expires but, if reappointed as such member, he or she shall be eligible for reappointment as chairperson.
(3) The members of the Board shall include:
(a) three representatives of the children detention schools, nominated by the Minister for Education and Science,
(b) three representatives of the chief executive officers of health boards,
(c) three experts in child care,
(d) three experts in the educational needs of detained children, nominated by the Minister for Education and Science, of whom one shall be a member of the school attendance service, and
(e) a probation and welfare officer nominated by the principal probation and welfare officer.
(4) The term of office of the chairperson and other members of the Board shall be for not more than 4 years and each member shall be eligible for reappointment.
(5) The Board shall determine its own procedure.
(6) Each member of the Board shall act on a part-time basis except where the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, on being satisfied that it is necessary to do so in the interests of the proper functioning of the Board, appoints any such member or members to act on a full-time basis on such terms and conditions as the Minister may determine.
Removal and resignation of members.
231. —(1) The Minister may remove from office a member of the Board who, in the opinion of the Minister, has become incapable through ill-health of effectively performing his or her functions or has committed stated misbehaviour or whose removal appears to the Minister to be necessary for the effective performance by the Board of its functions.
(2) A member of the Board may at any time resign by letter addressed to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect as and from the date on which the Minister receives the letter.
232. —Whenever it appears to the Minister that any member of the Board is, on account of illness or for any other sufficient reason, temporarily unable to act as such member, the Minister may appoint another person to act for such period as the Minister thinks proper.
233. —(1) If a member of the Board dies, resigns, becomes disqualified or is removed from office, the Minister may appoint a person to be a member in his or her stead.
(2) A person appointed to be a member of the Board by virtue of this section shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the member whom he or she replaces and be eligible for reappointment.
Remuneration of members.
234. —The chairperson and any other member of the Board shall be paid, out of funds at the disposal of the Board, such remuneration (if any) and such allowances for expenses as the Ministers, with the approval of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine.
Application to Board of sections 175, 177 and 178.
235. —Sections 175, 177 and 178 (dealing, respectively, with meetings and procedure, membership of either House of the Oireachtas or of the European Parliament and non-disclosure of information) shall apply, with any necessary modifications, in relation to the Board as those provisions apply in relation to boards of management of children detention schools.
236. —(1) The Board shall, as soon as may be after its establishment, provide itself with a seal.
(2) The seal of the Board shall be authenticated by the signature of its chairperson, or another member of the Board authorised by it to act in that behalf, and by the signature of an officer of the Board authorised by it to act in that behalf.
(3) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of the Board, and every document purporting to be an instrument made by the Board and to be sealed with the seal (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with subsection (2)) of the Board shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.
Chief Executive of Board.
237. —(1) There shall be a chief officer of the Board who shall be known, and is referred to in this Part, as the “Chief Executive”.
(2) The Chief Executive shall be appointed by the Board and shall hold office on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board with the consent of the Ministers and the Minister for Finance.
(3) There shall be paid by the Board to the Chief Executive such remuneration and allowances as the Ministers, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine.
(4) The Chief Executive shall not hold any other office or position without the consent of the Board.
(5) The Chief Executive shall perform such functions as may be assigned to him or her by the Board.
(6) Such functions of the Chief Executive as may be specified by him or her from time to time may, with the consent of the Board, be performed by such member of the staff of the Board as may be authorised in that behalf by the Chief Executive.
(7) The functions of the Chief Executive may be performed, during his or her absence or when the post of Chief Executive is vacant, by such members of the staff of the Board as may from time to time be designated for that purpose by the Board.
Staff of Board.
238. —(1) The Board shall appoint, with the consent of the Ministers and the Minister for Finance, such and so many persons to be members of the staff of the Board as the Board from time to time thinks proper.
(2) The grades of the staff of the Board and the members of staff in each grade shall be determined by the Board with the consent of the Ministers and the Minister for Finance.
(3) A member of the staff of the Board shall hold office or employment on such terms and conditions as the Board, with the consent of the Ministers and the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine.
(4) The Board may engage such and so many persons to provide services to the Board under such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Board with the consent of the Ministers and the Minister for Finance.
(5) There shall be paid by the Board to the members of its staff and persons appointed under subsection (4) such remuneration and allowances for expenses (if any) as the Board, with the consent of the Ministers and the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine.
Superannuation of staff.
239. —(1) As soon as may be after its establishment the Board shall prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of such of the staff (including the Chief Executive) as the Board thinks fit.
(2) Every such scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement for all persons to, or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme or schemes, and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.
(3) The Board may at any time prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme amending or revoking a scheme previously submitted and approved of under this section.
(4) A scheme or amending scheme submitted to the Minister under this section shall, if approved of by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be carried out by the Board in accordance with its terms.
(5) If any dispute arises as to the claim of any person to, or the amount of, any superannuation benefits in pursuance of a scheme or schemes under this section, such dispute shall be submitted to the Minister who shall refer it to the Minister for Finance whose decision shall be final.
(6) No superannuation benefits shall be granted by the Board to or in respect of any of its staff (including the Chief Executive) who are members of a scheme under this section, nor shall any other arrangement be entered into for the provision of any superannuation benefits to such persons on ceasing to hold office, otherwise than in accordance with a scheme or schemes submitted and approved of under this section.
(7) Every scheme submitted and approved of under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is approved of and, if a resolution annulling the scheme is passed by either House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
Funding of Board.
240. —For the purposes of expenditure by the Board in the performance of its functions under this Act, the Ministers may in each financial year, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, advance to the Board out of monies provided by the Oireachtas such sum or sums as the Ministers, after consultation with the Board, may determine.
Accounts and audits of Board.
241. —(1) The Board shall keep—
(a) in such form and in respect of such accounting periods as may be approved of by the Ministers, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, all proper and usual accounts (including an income and expenditure account and balance sheet) of the resources of the Board and of all monies received or expended by it, and
(b) such special accounts as the Ministers may from time to time direct.
(2) (a) Accounts kept in pursuance of this section shall be submitted by the Board to the Comptroller and Auditor General not later than 3 months after the end of each accounting year.
(b) A copy of the income and expenditure account and of the balance sheet and of such other (if any) of its accounts as the Ministers may direct, together with a copy of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General on the accounts, shall be presented to the Ministers as soon as may be.
(c) The Minister shall cause copies of each of the documents aforesaid to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
Annual report and information.
242. —(1) The Board shall submit to the Ministers an annual report which shall include information on the performance of its functions during the year to which it relates and such other information in such form as the Board considers appropriate or the Minister may direct.
(2) A report under subsection (1) shall be submitted to the Ministers not later than 6 months after the end of the year to which it relates.
(3) The Board shall, at the request of the Minister, supply the Minister with such information relating to the performance of its functions as the Minister may from time to time specify.
(4) The Minister shall cause copies of each report under subsection (1) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
Delegation of functions.
243. —The Ministers may delegate any of their functions under this Part to a Minister of State.
244. —The Minister may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Part, for or with respect to any matter that is required or permitted by this Part or that is necessary or expedient for carrying out or giving effect to it.