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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1478-1495
 Header Item Child Care Services Provision
 Header Item Foreign Adoptions
 Header Item Child Protection Issues
 Header Item Departmental Staff Training
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Children in Care
 Header Item Children in Care
 Header Item National Lottery Funding Applications
 Header Item School Completion Programme
 Header Item Adoption Records Provision
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Capital Expenditure
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Alcohol Consumption
 Header Item Disabled Drivers Grants
 Header Item Medical Card Appeals

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. 1478-1495

Child Care Services Provision

 1478. 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 the approval of the early childhood care and education scheme for a child care facility (details supplied) in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [38227/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Applications from childcare providers who wish to participate in the the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme are submitted, in the first instance, to the relevant City/County Childcare Committee. The deadline for the receipt of such applications this year was 31st March. I understand that the childcare service referred to by the Deputy submitted an application after this date and was therefore too late to be considered for the school year commencing in September 2012. The childcare service should contact Laois County Childcare Committee early next year if they wish to be considered for inclusion in the ECCE programme from September 2013.

Foreign Adoptions

 1479. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald when the Adoption Authority of Ireland will start processing adoptions from India; when an agent will be appointed; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [38378/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Adoptions between Ireland and India must comply with the terms and conditions of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Hague Convention is a co-operative agreement drawn up to allow countries to mutually support one another in protecting the best interests of children in the intercountry adoption process. The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) is the Central Authority with responsibility for overseeing standards in respect of the adoption process taking place within this jurisdiction.

The AAI, in 2011, was notified by the Indian National Central Authority (CARA), that CARA would not be accepting dossiers from Irish applicants either until 30 September 2011 or until further notice as India was reviewing its intercountry adoption guidelines. A delegation from the Adoption Authority of Ireland visited India in June 2012 to discuss intercountry adoption with the Indian authorities. The delegation met with representatives of CARA and with representatives of a number of diplomatic missions in India.The Authority informs me that a report of the visit is being considered by the Board of the Authority.

The Authority advises me that if adoptions are to recommence the services of an accredited body will be required for inter country adoption between India and Ireland. The Authority has sought expressions of interest from accredited bodies in this regard. Further information on the matter is available on the website of the Adoption Authority of Ireland (www.aai.gov.ie).

Child Protection Issues

 1480. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if a case conference has been held in relation to the cases of persons (details supplied) in County Meath; if no case conference was held the reason for same; and if the Health Service Executive has sought legal advice on this case.  [38477/12]

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 Staff Training

 1481. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the amount of money spent on an annual basis on education and training of staff in 2011 and to date in 2012; the number of staff that availed of each course; if she will provide a list of the courses staff undertook and the cost of each course per person. [38480/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald As a relatively new and small Department with a significant body of work to conduct over the next few years I am very much aware of the key role that education, training and development of staff will play in order to help achieve comprehensive reform of services and protection for children. An education and training strategy is currently under development in my Department and we intend becoming an organisation that values and encourages life-long learning.

While the information requested by the Deputy is not readily available in the format requested, I can confirm that approximately €56,000 has been spent on education and training since the Department was established in June 2011. This takes account of expenditure on refund of fees for officials undertaking 3rd level qualifications in their own time, attendance at training programmes, seminars and conferences aimed at skills development and corporate memberships which are accounted for under the training budget. In addition, informal or on-the-job training is an important source of training and development and is used widely but as it is considered as part of normal working it is not accounted for in the above figures.

Expenditure to-date is relatively small at this stage but I expect this level of investment to grow as the education and training strategy is finalised and more training is introduced.

Appointments to State Boards

 1482. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will outline, in tabular form, both the number and the percentage of women and men on State boards under the aegis of her Department in each of the past ten years; if she will provide the most up-to-date figures available regarding the number and percentage of women and men on State boards under the aegis of her Department in 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38852/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children.    With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

  Apart from the Ombudsman for Children's Office which does not have a board, I am responsible for all Board of Management appointments. In making my decisions on appointments to Boards, subject to the governing legislation, I consider the most suitable persons for the positions available with due regard to the body or agency in question and its particular responsibilities and I seek to ensure that the appropriate mix of skills and experience is in place to achieve the best result.

  The Deputy should note that this Department was established on 2nd June, 2011 and therefore I am not in a position to provide information in respect of my Department over the last ten years and could not compile such without a disproportionate use of my Department’s staff resources. I have however set out in tabular format below the current status of the State boards under my remit and the percentage of participation of women and men in each one.

Name of Board Current State Board Membership Men % of total Women % of total
National Educational Welfare Board 13 6 (46%) 7 (54%)
Family Support Agency 11 2 (18%) 9 (82%)
Adoption Authority of Ireland 6 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
Children Detention Schools 11 7 (64%) 4 (36%)

Children in Care

 1483. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will list the residential child care centres in Dublin North East; the number of young persons in each of these centres; the budget allocation for each; and the proportion for staff salaries. [38922/12]

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.

Children in Care

 1484. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan Information on Maureen O'Sullivan Zoom on Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the reasons the Health Service Executive made the decision to close a children's residential unit in Dublin Central (details supplied); if her attention has been drawn to the valuable service this unit has provided for children and families in the area; if the staff will be redeployed in the north inner city community as other community based projects are understaffed due to recent retirements; if an adequate timeframe will be granted to long-staying children of the residential unit to facilitate a fair transition process; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [38924/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I am advised by the HSE that it has decided to close the Children's Residential Centre in question, following concerns about building standards that were raised by HIQA. The HSE met with staff and advised them of the decision. They will be offered the opportunity to continue to work in residential care or to work in the community in access or aftercare in line with the provisions of the Croke Park Public Services Agreement. The transition of the young people in the unit will be managed in an appropriate manner having regard to their needs.

National Lottery Funding Applications

 1485. 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 details of projects receiving national lottery funding through her Department since the creation of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [38944/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department provides for the delivery of a range of youth work schemes, programmes and supports to the youth sector. Funding is made available to national youth organisations under the Youth Service Grant Scheme and to projects/organisations under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund (Rounds 1 and 2), the Local Drugs Task Force Scheme, the Local Youth Clubs Grant Scheme and Youth Information Centres. Funding of some €56.806m has been allocated in 2012 for current expenditure through resources made available under Subhead B.5 of Vote 40 for my Department which is part-funded by the National Lottery. Under this arrangement the dedicated resource allocation contains a combination of both Exchequer and National Lottery funding and it is not possible to differentiate between the Exchequer and National Lottery element of the funding source.

  The Deputy might also note that Subhead C.6 of my Department’s Vote contains a resource allocation of €500,000 in 2012 to support community groups and organisations with an involvement in the provision of supports and services to children and young people under the application based National Lottery Funding Scheme. Details of the projects awarded funding so far this year and the grants awarded in each instance are set out in the following table.

National Lottery Funding Scheme 2012 -
Project Name Approved
Dime Garda Youth Diversion Project, Hardwicke Street, Dublin 1 €4,500
CARI, 11 Lower Drumcondra Road, Dublin 9 €30,000
Adamstown Summer Camp, 13 The Paddocks Road, Adamstown, Lucan, Co Dublin €3,000


  Particulars concerning the projects supported in 2011 from the Scheme are as follows:

National Lottery Funding Scheme 2011 -
Project Name Approved
Arc Adoption Ltd, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 €230,000
Castlefinn Youth Club, Co Donegal €56,000
Erris "No Name" Club, Belmullet, Co. Mayo €40,000
La Go Bhri Community Childcare Service, Skerries, Co Dublin €7,500
FAI Dublin City and County Late Nite Leagues €10,000
St Kevin's Family Resource Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24 €6,700
Beacon of Light Counselling Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 €33,000
Cuan Counselling Service, MFG, Dingle, Co Kerry €5,000
St Michael's Estate FRC - After School Project, Inchicore, Dublin 8 €4,100
Dime Garda Youth Diversion Project, Hardwicke Street, Dublin 1 €4,500
W.H.A.D. Project, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 €1,200
CUMAS, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 €20,000
Anam Cara Parental and Sibling Support Ltd, Tallaght, Dublin 24 €6,500
Griffeen Community Development Group, Lucan, Co Dublin €3,000
National Children's Nurseries Assoc (NCNA) €25,000
FACE - Fermoy Action Children's Education, Co Cork €3,000
Ballybane Foróige Project, Galway €3,500
Clever Kidz After School (Respond), Athy, Co Kildare €3,000
Meath Youth Federation, 14 Ludlow Street, Navan, Co. Meath €3,000
Co Wicklow Playbus Project, Wicklow €6,000
Cardonagh Youth Club, Inishowen, Co Donegal €9,000
Stepping Stones, St Colman's Community Playgroup, Claremorris, Co Mayo €14,000
Alternative Learning Pathways Project, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin €6,000
Total €500,000

School Completion Programme

 1486. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the options open to schools and co-ordinators if funding for the school completion programme is cut; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [38978/12]

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, 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 quality of attendance, participation and retention in school of its target cohort. The SCP is a key programme under the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) action plan.

The SCP supports 124 projects and related initiatives operating in 472 primary and 225 post-primary schools. Each local project operates under the direction of a Local Management Committee which assess local needs to devise a costed proposal of interventions (known as the Retention Plan) to support young people who are at risk of educational disadvantage in their school, home and community life. The retention plan is submitted annually to the National Educational Welfare Board for consideration and approval.

With regard to this year’s funding arrangements for projects I am pleased to confirm that my Department has allocated the first tranche of funding for the 2012/2013 academic year to school based projects and related initiatives. Budgets and administrative arrangements for the coming year are being finalised and will be confirmed to individual projects by the end of the September.

The NEWB is responsible for the operational management, development and direction of the School Completion programme within its remit to deliver an integrated school support service. As part of this work the Board works closely with management committees, schools and local SCP co-ordinators to ensure student supports and interventions are tailored to meet local needs. The NEWB will assist each local project to review its planned programme of interventions to ensure projects are delivered within available resources in the coming academic year.

In parallel with this ongoing process, my Department is also working to complete a comprehensive review of the School Completion Programme. It is anticipated that the review will identify operational efficiencies and other reforms which may assist to mitigate the impact of necessary savings and maintain the programme on a sustainable footing within available resources in the coming years.

Adoption Records Provision

 1487. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald her views on establishing a statutory inquiry into adoptions from Ireland to the USA in the 1950s and 1960s; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39062/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have received no proposals on this matter.

Appointments to State Boards

 1488. Deputy Anne Ferris Information on Anne Ferris Zoom on Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the steps she is taking to ensure that State boards have at least 40% of each gender, as provided for in the programme for Government; the percentage at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [39148/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children.    With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

  Apart from the Ombudsman for Children's Office which does not have a board, I am responsible for all Board of Management appointments. In making my decisions on appointments to Boards, subject to the governing legislation, I consider the most suitable persons for the positions available with due regard to the body or agency in question and its particular responsibilities and I seek to ensure that the appropriate mix of skills and experience is in place to achieve the best result. I have set out in tabular format below the current status of State boards under my remit and the percentage of participation of women and men in each one.

Name of Board Current State Board Membership Men % of total Women % of total
National Educational Welfare Board 13 6 (46%) 7 (54%)
Family Support Agency 11 2 (18%) 9 (82%)
Adoption Authority of Ireland 6 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
Children Detention Schools 11 7 (64%) 4 (36%)
Total 41 16 (40%) 25 (60%)

Capital Expenditure

 1489. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will provide a list of the payments made by the State to private landowners in 2010 and 2011 to acquire land for use in the public capital programme.  [40006/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Deputy might note that no payments were made by my Department since its establishment in June 2011 to private land owners for the purposes of acquiring land for use in the public capital programme.

  Question No. 1490 answered with Question No. 1462.

Appointments to State Boards

 1491. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of appointments that have been made to positions available on the boards of semi-State companies and statutory agencies following public advertisement; if she will provide details of the names of persons who have been appointed under this initiative and the agencies on which they now sit.  [40030/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children.    With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools (CDS) as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

  Apart from the Ombudsman for Children's Office which does not have a board, I am responsible for all Board of Management appointments. In line with the Government Decision of April 2011, on my Department's website I have invited expressions of interest from persons interested in being appointed to the boards of State Bodies and Agencies operating under the Department's aegis. The notice indicates the vacancies in the boards of the respective bodies. My officials acknowledge all expressions of interest received and maintain a database of those expressions.

  In making my decisions on appointments to Boards, subject to the governing legislation, I consider the most suitable persons for the positions available with due regard to the body or agency in question and its particular responsibilities and I seek to ensure that the appropriate mix of skills and experience is in place to achieve the best result. My Department’s website is monitored and updated on a regular basis to reflect the number of vacancies as they arise.

  Since my appointment on 9th   March, 2011 I have made 33 appointments to Boards of Management under the aegis of my Department. Of the total amount of appointments to the Boards, I can confirm that there have been 8 appointments to the Board of the NEWB, 13 appointments to the Board of the FSA, 1 appointment to the Board of the AAI and 11 appointments to the Board of the CDS. I have set out on tabular format below, the names of persons whom I have appointed to the boards which come under the aegis of my Department.

  National Educational Welfare Board

Board Member
Nuala Doherty (Chair)
Brendan Broderick
Catherine Connery
Marian Jennings
Eamonn Flynn
Bob Dowling
Ruairí Gogan
Mary Donnelly


  Children Detention Schools

Board Member
Joe Horan (Chair)
Gerard McKiernan
Ursula Kilkelly
Diego Gallagher
Sylda Langford
Pat Rooney
Elizabeth Howard
Colin Fetherston
Barry Rooney
Deirdre Keyes
Dan Kelleher


  Family Support Agency

Board Member
Sharon Foley (Chair)
Caroline Murphy
Dick Hickey
Dr. John Griffin
Marie Fenlon
Liz Chaloner
Nuala Ryan
Catherine Hazlett

(Resigned in 2011)
Marie Dullea
Catherine Downey Murphy
Imelda Martin
Dr. Nollaig Byrne


Adoption Authority of Ireland

Board Member

Dr. Imelda Ryan

Alcohol Consumption

 1492. Deputy Robert Troy Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he has a strategy in place to tackle youth alcoholism; if his attention has been drawn to the mental health damage being inflicted on children as a result of alcohol consumption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36994/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch My World Survey, Ireland's first comprehensive national study of youth mental health which was launched on 16th May by Headstrong - The National Centre for Youth Mental Health and UCD School of Psychology tracks evidence of the damaging link between drinking behaviour and mental health in young people.

Mental health is a priority for the Government including the mental health of our young people. A special allocation of €35 million for mental health was announced in Budget 2012 in line with Programme for Government commitments. Funding from this special allocation for mental health will be used primarily to strengthen Community Mental Health Teams in both Adult and Children’s mental health services by ensuring, at a minimum, that at least one of each mental health professional discipline is on every team. Some of the funding will also be used to initiate the provision of psychological and counselling services in primary care, specifically for people with mental health problems.

The report of the National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group made a range of recommendations that impact directly and indirectly on the problem of excessive youth alcohol consumption. I envisage proposals on tackling the many facets of the problems associated with alcohol in Ireland including the aforementioned recommendations being considered by the Cabinet sub-committee on social policy shortly. The Cabinet will make a final decision on the issue in due course.

Disabled Drivers Grants

 1493. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will examine the case of a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon who was refused a motorised transport grant. [37189/12]

 1495. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason a person (details supplied) who suffered a very bad fracture and will have permanent nerve damage was refused a motorised transport grant even though they fulfil all the criteria needed for this grant, including living in a remote area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37636/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch I propose to take Questions Nos. 1493 and 1495 together.

  As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Appeals

 1494. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a medical card refusal in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37199/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Róisín Shortall): Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

  Question No. 1495 answered with Question No. 1493.


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