A young child has been taken from the care of his or her grandparents and placed with foster parents, reportedly because of their elderly couple's age.


The child in question has been living with his or her grandparents, who were in their sixties, for a few years but Tusla said they were not approved as relative foster carers.


The child protection agency raised concerns about the ages of the grandparents, especially if they wanted to continue to care for the child until he or she was 18-years-old.


In a letter seen by The Journal, the agency said: “Fostering standards specifies that carers should be of an age that ensures there is a reasonable expectation that they can provide adequate care for the foster child in the future.


“It is recommended that there be no more than a 40-year age gap between foster carers and a foster child for whom they are caring.”


They also citing hygiene, farm safety, the child’s grandmother’s health and the pair’s ability to communicate with the agency as issues with their request to be relative foster carers.


Newstalk also reported seeing a note provided to Tusla where the child’s GP had “not seen any evidence of physical, emotional or sexual abuse” in any visit it made to him.


Teachers also said the child was “a very happy and enthusiastic pupil”.


The grandparents had taken parenting courses and were left heartbroken by Tusla’s decision to remove the child from their care.


"We have been robbed of our greatest treasure.”


However, Tusla have defended their decision saying that it would have been unrealistic that the couple would have “the same physical and emotional energies required to parent a teenager to the levels required of you in accordance with fostering standards”.


Tusla guidelines recommend no more than a 40-year age gap between carers and the children who are placed with them.


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