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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 195-209
 Header Item Single Payment Scheme Payments
 Header Item Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments
 Header Item Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste
 Header Item Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste
 Header Item Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste
 Header Item Forestry Grants
 Header Item Installation Aid Scheme Applications
 Header Item Ministerial Meetings
 Header Item Departmental Staff Remuneration
 Header Item School Completion Programme
 Header Item Early Child Care Education Issues
 Header Item Social Workers Register
 Header Item Child Protection Issues
 Header Item Children in Care
 Header Item Child Detention Centres

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 90 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 195-209

Single Payment Scheme Payments

 195. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when single farm payment will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55924/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney As the person named does not hold any Single Payment entitlements, no payment is due to the person named under the 2012 Single Payment Scheme.

  In relation to the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme, as there are outstanding issues in relation to the stocking density of the holding of the person named, my Department is making direct contact with the applicant in order to clarify matters.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

 196. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney when a REP scheme 4 payment will issue in respect of a person in (details provided) County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55930/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The person named commenced REPS 4 in June 2008 and has received payments for the first four years of their contract.

REPS 4 is a measure under the 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. This process has been completed and payments have commenced. I expect payment to issue shortly to the person named.

Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste

 197. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Chun a fhiafraí den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara cén fáth nár íocadh airgead faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste do 2012 le feirmeoir (sonraí tugtha); agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [55947/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Fuarthas iarratas faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste 2012 ón duine ainmnithe an 11 Bealtaine 2012. Níl aon íocaíocht eisithe fós, áfach, mar nach gcomhlíonann gabháltas an té ainmnithe íos-cheanglais dlús-stoic na Scéime. A luaithe is a dheimhneofar go bhfuil an gabháltas ag comhlíonadh na gceanglas seo cuirfear an cás chun cinn le súil is íocaíocht a dhéanamh chomh luath agus is féidir ina dhiaidh sin.

Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste

 198. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén fáth nár íocadh airgead faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste do 2012 le feirmeoir (sonraí tugtha); agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [55948/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Fuarthas iarratas faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste 2012 ón duine ainmnithe an 11 Bealtaine 2012. Níl aon íocaíocht eisithe fós, áfach, mar nach gcomhlíonann gabháltas an té ainmnithe íos-cheanglais dlús-stoic na Scéime. A luaithe is a dheimhneofar go bhfuil an gabháltas ag comhlíonadh na gceanglas seo cuirfear an cás chun cinn le súil is íocaíocht a dhéanamh chomh luath agus is féidir ina dhiaidh sin.

Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste

 199. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney cén fáth nár íocadh airgead faoi Scéim na Limistéar faoi Mhíbhuntáiste do 2012 le feirmeoir (sonraí tugtha); agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh.  [55951/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Cuireadh achomharc an duine ainmnithe ar aghaidh chuig Coiste Achomhairc an DAS le breithniú a dhéanamh air; a luaithe is a dhéanann an Coiste breithniú ar an achomharc seo, cuirfear in iúl don duine i gceist maidir lena gcinneadh, i scríbhinn.

Forestry Grants

 200. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if a forestry payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55995/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The Tax Clearance Certificate has been received by the Forest Service. Payment of the second instalment of the establishment grant cannot take place until after the fourth anniversary of planting on 20th December 2012. Therefore payment of this grant and the 2013 annual premium is expected to take place in early January 2013.

Installation Aid Scheme Applications

 201. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney the position regarding the installation grant aid in respect of persons (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55996/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney My Department has no record of having received an application for grant-aid under the Young Farmers’ Installation Scheme from either of the two persons named. As the Scheme concerned has been suspended for new applications since October 2008, my Department is unable to accept any applications under the Scheme at this stage.

Ministerial Meetings

 202. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if he has met representatives from the drinks industry recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50877/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney I meet, on an ongoing basis, with representatives of the various sub-sectors of the agri-food industry including the Drinks Sector. In particular the regular meetings of the Food Harvest 2020 Committee, which I chair, provide a forum for updates on implementation of the Strategy and ongoing consultation with representatives of the agri-food industry. The drinks industry made a presentation to the Committee on various matters affecting it on 28 March 2012. The Food Harvest 2020 Milestones for Success, which I published in September, includes an investment target of over €150 million in 2013 in new facilities, which was set by the industry.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

 203. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney if temporary promotions or acting-up allowances have not been a feature of the staffing arrangements for this EU Presidency, if he will confirm that his Department has been given sanction to make such arrangements detailing the number by grade involved, and the date sanction was sought and the date it was given. [56292/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In answer to the Deputy’s question, I can confirm that the following staff were assigned a temporary acting-up allowance for a period of one year to work on matters relating to the Irish Presidency of the EU: 1 Executive Officer to Higher Executive Officer; 1 Administrative Officer to Assistant Principal Officer. The assignments were made based on Paragraph 9 (v) of Government Decision Number S180/20/10/1456 which issued on 20/12/2011.

School Completion Programme

 204. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if there have been any cuts or changes to the school completion programme in Budget 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [55869/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The School Completion Programme (SCP) is one of three service strands, which also includes the Home School Community Liaison and the Education Welfare Service, being integrated under the remit of the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB). The SCP aims to retain young people in the formal education system to completion of senior cycle and to generally improve the school attendance, participation and retention of its target cohort. The SCP is a key programme under the Department of Education and Skills' DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) action plan.

I wish to inform the Deputy that €26.456m is being allocated to the programme in 2013. The allocation is in line with the proposals in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure for savings of 6.5% per annum in the SCP for the years 2012-2014. In September 2012, the Local Management Committee responsible for each individual project was notified that a reduction on last year’s allocation would apply for the coming academic cycle. The full year budget for the SCP was confirmed earlier than in previous years to assist local committees to effectively refine programmes and deliver targeted interventions within budget.

Each Committee was requested to review its Retention Plan to support young people who are at risk of educational disadvantage in their school, home and community life, to remain in education and to finalise a programme of supports to effectively target available resources to meet local needs. Projects were advised to scrutinise all elements of expenditure and to seek to reduce costs and achieve efficiencies while prioritising evidence based services to support children’s educational outcomes.

The NEWB, which is responsible for the operational management and direction of the SCP, has made assistance available to each local project to review its planned programme. The NEWB continues to work closely with management committees, schools and local SCP co-ordinators to ensure student supports are tailored to meet local needs. The adjustment identified in CRE for 2013 and 2014 will be further considered in the context of a review of the programme to be undertaken in 2013. This review will address the potential to achieve greater consistency in programme delivery, administration and other costs amongst the 124 local projects and related initiatives. A core objective of the review will be to ensure that available funds are appropriately targeted to support those most at risk of educational disadvantage and early school leaving.

Early Child Care Education Issues

 205. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the required fields in which a potential pre-school leader must have achieved a level seven major award or equivalent in order to successfully receive the higher rate of capitation under the early childhood education programme; if there is a list of approved qualifications offered by Irish institutions in respect of this; if she will provide this list; if specifically any undergraduate degrees in psychology with significant modules on early childhood learning do qualify; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [55934/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme was introduced in January 2010 with the objective of providing one free pre-school year for all eligible children prior to commencing primary school. Child care services participating in the ECCE programme are paid a standard capitation fee of €62.50 per week for each eligible child enrolled for the free pre-school year. Under the terms of the ECCE programme, the pre-school leaders delivering the programme must hold a certification for a major award in childcare/early education at a minimum of level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) or an equivalent nationally-recognised qualification or a higher award in the childcare/early education field. In keeping with the Government's commitment to increasing standards in the pre-school sector, a higher capitation payment of €73 per week is available to childcare services in which all childcare workers have qualification levels above the minimum requirements for the programme. To qualify for the higher capitation rate, the pre-school leader must hold a qualification in a relevant discipline at a minimum of a full Level 7 award on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and meet other conditions as set out by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Determination of the relevance of a discipline is established by the examination of the content of the programme of learning which led to the qualification. This must contain the following elements - Child development birth to six years, Early Childhood Learning Theory and Practice, Child Health and Welfare 0-6 years. The programme must also have contained a significant supervised practicum in relevant early childhood care and education settings. A degree in Psychology does not satisfy the criteria and the only relevant discipline which fully complies with required content is Early Childhood Care and Education. My Department has accepted the recommendations of the advisory group and the outcome has been transmitted to the City and County Childcare Committees and the National Voluntary Childcare Organisations and also brought to the attention of the Further and Higher Education sectors. This information has clarified the position for childcare providers considering applying for the higher capitation payment.

Social Workers Register

 206. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of additional social workers posts that have been filled in the years 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [55801/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The HSE compiles a monthly census of employment in the public health and social care sector. Figures supplied by the HSE indicate that the number of whole-time- equivalent (WTE) social workers employed in the Children and Families Service area of the HSE was 1,300 at the end of July 2012. The number of social workers recorded under the census as employed in the Children and Families Service area in 2010 and 2011 was 1183 and 1220 respectively.

It is important to emphasise that work is ongoing within the HSE on the disaggregation of the Children and Families resource base from the HSE as part of the process of establishing the new Child and Family Support Agency next year. Consequently the number of social workers assigned to the Children and Families Service area will continue to be subject to change as the mapping/classification of posts into care groups is further refined between now and the establishment of the new agency. In the circumstances it is difficult to draw comparisons between current and past census returns which were not disaggregated to this degree for this service area.

The HSE has made considerable progress over recent years in recruiting additional social workers, with over 260 social workers recruited under the Ryan Implementation Plan at end 2011. The National Director of Children and Family Services, Gordon Jeyes, will continue to apply his discretion to the filling of social work vacancies, taking account of identified need and subject to services being delivered within available resources.

Child Protection Issues

 207. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when she will sign a commencement order to bring the remainder of the provisions, that is, all provisions excluding parts one, four and six of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011 into force. [55848/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald It is intended to commence the remaining sections of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2011 i.e. the sections dealing with special care and related matters, as soon as possible. In advance of making the commencement orders Special Care Regulations and Registration Regulations under the Health Act 2007 are required and work is at an advanced stage in this regard.

Children in Care

 208. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of applications to place a child in special care that have been brought to the National Special Care Admissions and Discharge Committee; the number of such applications which resulted in an admission to a special care unit and the number of applications that were turned down; the number of appeals decided by the National Special Care Appeals Panel and the number of appeals which resulted in a child being admitted to a special care unit. [55849/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department receives reports on a quarterly basis from the National Special Care Admissions and Discharge Committee. The HSE has advised me that between January and 30th September of this year, 49 applications to place a young person in special care were made. Of this number, 27 young persons were admitted to special care, 20 applications did not meet the criteria and were withdrawn, and 2 young persons were awaiting placement at 30th September 2012. The HSE also advise that the National Special Care Appeals Panel considered 4 appeals during that period, of which 1 resulted in a special care intervention.

Child Detention Centres

 209. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the reason the capacity of Coovagh House Special Care Unit County Limerick has been capped at two; the exact timeline for when additional special care places will become available in accordance with the Health Service Executive National High Support and Special Care Implementation Plan 2011-2014. [55850/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The HSE has advised me that the current capacity of Coovagh House is three young people. The Unit had been closed for refurbishment, but is now reopened with a new management. It is envisaged that the Unit will increase its capacity to four in 2013, following the assignment of additional social care staff.


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