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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1461-1477
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Ministerial Adviser Appointments
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Expenditure
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Transport
 Header Item Child Protection Issues
 Header Item Family Support Services
 Header Item Health Services Provision
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Labour Court Recommendations
 Header Item Departmental Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Family Support Services
 Header Item Capital Expenditure Programme

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1461-1477

Departmental Expenditure

 1461. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the amount spent on hair and make-up by her Department since she came to office; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37472/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald No costs have been incurred by my Department for the provision of hair and make-up services since my appointment as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

 1462. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number and names of all special advisers, special press advisers,  or any other type of ministerial adviser in her Department; the name of the Minister or Minister of State to whom he or she reports; the salary of each adviser now; the salary of each adviser at the time he or she was appointed; if any salary increase was asked for; if it was granted; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37488/12]

 1467. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the political activities of each special adviser, special press adviser, or any other type of ministerial adviser in her Department; if any of them were members of a political party; if so, the parties to which they belonged; if any of them are or have been elected local authority members; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37569/12]

 1490. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the names of special advisers for whom salary increases have been requested; the amount requested; the details of those granted increases and the amount by which they were increased; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [40017/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 1462, 1467 and 1490 together.

  As requested by the Deputy, details of the names and salaries for Special Advisers in my Department are set out in tabular form below. In accordance with Department of Finance instructions on Ministerial appointments, my Advisers were placed on the first point of the Principal Officer standard scale on appointment. The Principal Officer scale provides for annual increments and as all my Advisers are in their second year of tenure, all have moved to the second point of the scale. There have been no additional salary increases asked for or granted since their appointment.

Name WTE

(Wholetime

Equivalent)
Salary on

appointment
Current

Salary
Marion Mannion 1 €80,051 €83,337
Jennifer Carroll

MacNeill
0.5 €40,025 €41,669
William Lavelle 0.5 €40,025 €41,669
  Section 5.4 of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour excludes staff holding a temporary unestablished position and whose tenure is coterminus with that of the relevant Minister from the restrictions on engaging in political activity as set out in Section 5 of the Code.

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 1463. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will provide detail in tabular form of the names of all external public relations and consultancy persons and organisations used by her Department for the years 2011 and 2010; the amount paid to each; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37504/12]

 1466. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will detail in tabular form the amount paid to consultants since February 2011; the name of each organisation used; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37553/12]

 1469. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the total amount spent since February 2011 on external reports commissioned by her Department, including payments from ministerial allowances, details of the consultants employed and costs of each; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37617/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 1463, 1466 and 1469 together.

  The information being sought by the Deputy is currently being collated within my Department and a further reply will issue to the Deputy this week.

Ministerial Expenditure

 1464. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the gross annual salary costs for her private and constituency offices at present; the same figures for this time last year; the same figures for any Ministers of State in her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37521/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The details requested by the Deputy are set out in tabular form:

Annual Gross Salary (exclusive of PRSI and superannuation costs)

- Minister's Private Office Minister's Constituency Office
September 2011 €389,491 €140,069
September 2012 €398,616 €143,284


The increase in gross salary costs are accounted for by incremental credit to a number of officers serving in each office during the period in question.

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 1465. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will detail in tabular form the amount paid on external public relations and communications consultants since February 2011; the reason for the payment; the name of each organisation used; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37537/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As my Department was established on the 2nd June 2011 information is provided from that date.

Name of Consultants Reason Amount Paid
MKC Communications Services to Assist with

Information Initiatives and Communication

on the Programme for Change for Children
€6,500

  Question No. 1466 answered with Question No. 1463.

  Question No. 1467 answered with Question No. 1462.

Ministerial Transport

 1468. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the amount spent by her Department on drivers and ministerial transport since February 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37585/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In line with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines on Ministerial appointments, I employ two civilian drivers on a week on/week off basis to drive my private car on official business. Approximately €92,000 has been spent on civilian drivers salaries and subsistence claims for the period concerned. In addition, milage claims totalling €19,084 in respect of the use of my personal car on official business have been paid.

  Question No. 1469 answered with Question No.1463.

Child Protection Issues

 1470. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her plans to introduce vetting in respect of persons taking charge of foster children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37640/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Under the Child Care Act, 1991 the Health Service Executive has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The majority of children in care are in foster care, one third of whom are placed with relatives. Foster care applicants undergo an assessment and training process to establish their suitability and competence. This process has six stages Application, Assessment by a social worker, Garda vetting, medical and referenced checks, including garda checks of adult children of the foster carers living at home, Approval by the Fostering Committee, Approval of the ‘match’ between the foster carers with the Care Plan of the prospective child. Placement of a child with the foster carers.

  When a child is being placed in foster care, the suitability of a placement with relatives is explored in the first instance. Where the HSE is satisfied that an immediate placement with relatives is in the interests of the child, such placement frequently occurs before full approval of the committee is in place. Such emergency placements are provided for in regulation. Prior to and during the early stages of a placement, the relative is assessed by a principal social worker, including early Garda vetting. This is followed by a full assessment and approval by the foster care committee as outlined above.

Family Support Services

 1471. Deputy Nicky McFadden Information on Nicky McFadden Zoom on Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will provide an update on the position of a family resource centre (details supplied) in County Westmeath in the context of a reduction in funding from the Family Support Agency; if she will provide a commitment to protect frontline services provided by family resource centres nationally, particularly those services targeted at the most vulnerable families; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37695/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Family Resource Centre in question has been funded by the Family Support Agency, under the Family & Community Services Resource Centre Programme since 2005. From 2008 to 2011 the budget allocation provided was to cover the cost of a full time Co-ordinator, a part-time Development Worker and a part-time Administrator. The Family Support Agency, like all other State bodies, has been asked to make savings across all the programmes which it administers. Expected savings over the period 2012 – 2014 are set out in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure. Effective from April 2012 the budget allocation for this particular Family Resource Centre is estimated at €105,000 to include recent adjustments relating to the appropriate salary payable to two recent appointees.

The Family Support Agency has written to all Family Resources Centres, advising them of the reduction in funding and the need to plan for change. The Agency is acutely aware of the challenges that the reduction in funding presents. It did not stipulate how centres should apply the reduction in funding, but asked the centres to focus in particular on addressing the scope for greater efficiencies to include reducing the day-to-day administration and overhead costs associated with the running of the centres. The objective of this is to continue to support, as far as possible, the services that the centres provide to local families and groups. The Agency advised the centres to engage with, and seek every assistance from, the two regional support agencies that provide support and training to them.

It should be noted that the Family Support Agency is also currently out a review of core funding expenditure within the Family Resource Centre Programme which will inform the future operation of the Family Resource Centre Programme funding.

Health Services Provision

 1472. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the position regarding a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3. [37719/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy with the most up-to-date information.

Departmental Reports

 1473. Deputy Nicky McFadden Information on Nicky McFadden Zoom on Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when the fifth annual report of the Special Rapporteur on Children willl be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37739/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The 2011 Report of the Special Rapporteur for Child Protection, Dr. Geoffrey Shannon was published on the 24th July 2012.   The report is available on the websites of the Oireachtas (www.oireachtas.ie) and of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (www.dcya.ie). The report is a wide ranging report and makes a series of recommendations in relation to child protection and the criminal justice system. The Report identifies a number of key areas in which the Government, and the DCYA, have already made substantial reforms; and a series of issues which will be addressed in the forthcoming Children’s Referendum. The key message in this report is that we must continue to implement our ongoing reform agenda for children and families.

Labour Court Recommendations

 1474. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will supply a list of all Labour Court recommendations that have been issued in respect of her Department and organisations under her aegis that have not been complied with in full; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37748/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department was established on 2nd June 2012 and since then no such Labour Court recommendations have been issued.

Departmental Staff Recruitment

 1475. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the position regarding recruiting persons with a disability; the number of persons currently employed in her Department; the number of persons with a disability who have been employed since 1 January 2011 to date in 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37832/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department operates in accordance with the Disability Act 2005 and the Code of Practice for the Employment of People with a Disability in the Irish Civil Service to promote, support and annually report on the employment by it of persons with disabilities. Direct recruitment to my Department is conducted through the Public Appointments Service, which operates a policy of equality of opportunity and selection on merit by means of fair and open competition in accordance with the Codes of Practice published by the Commission for Public Service Appointments. There are currently 143 people employed at my Department (130.36 whole time equivalents. Of these, 5.6% have declared themselves as having a disability.

Family Support Services

 1476. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the reason for the 45% reduction in funding from the Family Support Agency to an agency (details supplied) in Galway; if the decision will be reviewed in view of the important work being done by this organisation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [37954/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The organisation is question provides a professional counselling psychology service for adults in a community based setting that is accessible to people from marginalised and disadvantaged communities. It also provides counselling services for individuals, couples, families and groups. In addition, it provides clinical supervision and training in the psychology of counselling and supervised placement for trainee counsellors. They are also a resource for voluntary agencies in the local community addressing a wide range of social and psychological issues.

The organisation has received funding from the Family Support Agency since 2000 under the Scheme of Grants to Voluntary Organisations providing Marriage, Child and Bereavement Counselling Services. In 2000, the organisation received €10,160, and this figure increased each year up until 2009. In 2009, it was one of 29 organisations selected for three year multi-annual funding.

The Family Support Agency, like all other State bodies, has been asked to make savings across all the programmes which it administers. Expected savings over the period 2012 – 2014 are set out in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure. In 2012, the organisation in question received €77,000. The Family Support Agency is acutely aware of the challenges that any reduction in funding presents to organisations, and has asked the organisations it funds to focus in particular on addressing the scope for greater efficiencies. The objective of this is to continue to support, as far as possible, the services that are provided to local families and groups.

Capital Expenditure Programme

 1477. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her plans to introduce another round of capital grants for crèches, preschools and child care facilities in 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [38224/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In Budget 2012, the Government announced capital funding of €6m to fund a maintenance programme for childcare facilities. The aim of the funding is to provide support to childcare settings to address remedial, maintenance and renovation work, or to purchase equipment. Following a robust appraisal and review process, 295 applications have been approved for funding. The successful applications were those that represented the most complete, coherent, precise and compelling cases for funding. It is not possible, prior to the conclusion of the Estimates and Budgetary Process for 2013, to determine whether capital funding will be made available to my Department under December's Budget.


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