Wardship system to be ended by June 2022

Wardship system to be ended by June 2022

Roderic O'Gorman

Ireland’s controversial wardship system will be ended by June 2022 under plans set out by ministers today.

The government has announced that the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 will be amended before being commenced in full by June 2022.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill 2021, which is now being drafted, will improve processes and safeguards for those who will make use of the new decision-making supports, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) said today.

The bill will also legislate for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s position as Ireland’s national monitoring body for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and increase the public sector duty for employing disabled people from three per cent to six per cent.

Children, equality, disability, integration and youth minister Roderic O’Gorman said: “The approval by cabinet will mean that the necessary amendments required to bring about the full commencement of the 2015 Act can be quickly brought forward, and we can bring an end to the wardship system in Ireland.

“Government recognises the importance of the much needed and long awaited reform that the Act represents, and has committed to implementing the Act by June of next year, when the Decision Support Service will become fully operational.”

Anne Rabbitte, minister of state with special responsibility for disabilities, said: “The commencement of the 2015 Act is a key programme for government commitment and a clear obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“The importance and significance of the reform that is represented by the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act cannot be understated and I am equally aware of the scale of that reform and the practical impact it will have on people’s lives.”

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