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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 966-985
 Header Item Education Welfare Service Staff
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions
 Header Item Inter-Country Adoptions
 Header Item Ministerial Staff
 Header Item Youth Cafés Expenditure
 Header Item Child Care Reports
 Header Item Programme for Government Implementation
 Header Item Semi-State Bodies Remuneration
 Header Item Blind Welfare Allowance Eligibility
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Hospital Appointment Status
 Header Item Nursing Home Services
 Header Item Medical Card Administration
 Header Item Medical Card Applications

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 118 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 966-985

Education Welfare Service Staff

 966. 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 further to Parliamentary Question No. 490 of 11 March 2014, if she will provide a breakdown in tabular form on an annual basis for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and to date in 2014 of the locations in which educational welfare officers have been and are assigned and the number of EWOs in each location. [13646/14]

 967. 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 further to Parliamentary Question No. 490 of 11 March 2014, if she will provide a breakdown in tabular form on an annual basis for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and to date in 2014 of the locations in which senior educational welfare officers and regional managers have been and are assigned. [13647/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I propose to take Questions Nos. 966 and 967 together.

  Further to my response of 11 March to Question No. 490, the Child and Family Agency has now provided the following information:

Educational Welfare Officers

Area2011201220132014
Dublin 112222
Dublin 91111
Dublin 151111
Dublin North County1111
Dublin 243333
Dublin 8/101111
Dublin 81111
Dublin 222222
Dublin 7/91111
Dublin 4/141111
Dublin 2/6/161111
Dublin 12 (part)1111
Dublin 11111
Dublin 101111
Dublin 131111
South Kildare / West Wicklow1111
Dublin 5/9/171100
Dublin 171100
South County Dublin1100
Dublin 121111
North Kildare1000
Co. Meath1111
Co. Cavan 0011
Drogheda1111
Dundalk1111
Co. Wexford1111
Co. Wicklow1111
Co. Kilkenny1111
Co. Carlow1111
Co. Waterford1111
Waterford / South Wexford1111
Cork City Centre / Macroom / Coachford / Blarney1111
Blackrock / Ballintemple / Mahon / Douglas / Cobh / Lower Harbour Area1111
Faranree / Glanmire / Little Island / Midleton / Youghal / Carrigtwohill1111
Dublin Hill / Upper Glanmire / Mallow / North Cork1111
Mayfield / Tivoli / Fermoy / Mitchelstown1111
Bantry / West Cork / South Kerry1111
Tralee / North Kerry1111
Knocknaheeny / Sunday's Well / The Glen1111
Bishopstown / Togher / Ballincollig / Bandon1000
South Limerick City / East County Limerick1111
North Limerick City / West County Limerick1111
Limerick City Centre / Rathkeale / Mid West County Limerick1111
Co Clare1111
South Tipperary1111
North Tipperary1111
North Donegal1111
Co Roscommon1111
Co Longford and South Leitrim1111
South Donegal0011
Co. Sligo1111
Co. Offaly1111
Mullingar and the surrounding areas1111
Co. Laois1111
Athlone and the surrounding areas0011
Galway City and East County Galway1111
Galway City and South County Galway0011
Tuam, Ballinasloe, North County Galway1111
Castlebar, Ballina and County Mayo 1111
North Galway and South Mayo0011
Total59575959

Senior Educational Welfare Officers

Area2011201220132014
Dublin 9, 11, 13, 171111
Dublin North County, Dublin 15, Meath1111
Cavan, Drogheda, Dundalk1111
Dublin 24, Kildare, West Wicklow, North Kildare1111
Wexford, Co. Wicklow, Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford1111
Dublin 7, 8 / 10, South County Dublin, Dublin 22, Dublin 91111
Cork City, Cork County, South Kerry, North Kerry1111
Limerick City, Limerick County, Ennis, Clare, South Tipperary, North Tipperary1111
North Donegal, Roscommon, Longford, South Leitrim, Sligo Town and County, Donegal South1111
Offaly, Mullingar, Laois, Athlone1111
Galway City and County, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Ballina, County Mayo1111
Total11111111
Regional Managers
Area2011201220132014
Leinster South, Leinster North, Dublin City1111
Munster1111
West, North West1111
Total3333
Home Education
-No.
Educational Welfare Officer - National remit1
Senior Educational Welfare Officer - National remit1

  Question No. 968 answered with Question No. 958.

  Question No. 969 answered with Question No. 958.

Inter-Country Adoptions

 970. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the recourse parents have after their three year pre-Hague declaration has become invalid and similarly for parents with post-Hague declarations that cannot adopt from countries like Russia and Ethiopia which are not compliant with the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13664/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Section 63 of the Adoption Act 2010 contains a transitional provision allowing those applicants holding valid declarations of eligibility and suitability and with adoptions in progress from Non-Hague countries, to continue with this process for a period of two years from the date of enactment. It also contains a provision for an extension of declarations of eligibility and suitability for one additional year after the expiry of the two year period.

Furthermore, the Adoption Amendment Act, 2013 allowed those whose country of choice was Russia (a non-Hague country) and who had a valid declaration of eligibility and suitability to adopt on the 31st October 2013 to continue with the adoption process with an extension to their declarations of a further year.

Holders of valid declarations of eligibility and suitability may however adopt from Hague countries or countries where there is a bilateral agreement in place.

Efforts are ongoing in my Department in relation to a bilateral agreement on intercountry adoption between Ireland and the Russian Federation. Following a meeting in October 2013 with a delegation of Russian officials for discussions on a bilateral agreement on intercountry adoption between Ireland and the Russian Federation my Department forwarded to the Russian side further detailed proposals based on the discussions which took place. Following this my Department prepared revised draft wording on a number of specific points which were forwarded to the Russian Authorities in February of this year. In transmitting these revisions to the Russian authorities it was suggested that should these revisions be acceptable to the Russian Federation, it would be useful for both sides to meet again for further discussions.

Ethiopia is currently seeking to bring its adoption standards up to those required under the Hague Convention, however the Authority would need to be satisfied that Ethiopia has reached a stage where intercountry adoptions, if re-commenced could be guaranteed to be ethical or legally sound. I await the Authority's determination in this regard.

The Authority is currently engaging with a number of Hague countries, such as China, India, the USA, Bulgaria, Thailand and the Philippines and is examining the possibility of expanding the number of countries with which it engages.

Inter-Country Adoptions

 971. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor Information on Mary Mitchell O'Connor Zoom on Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if the Adoption Authority of Ireland is adequately trained to deal with and respond to distressed calls from parents who are unable to adopt due to the barriers now put in place from the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13665/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald The Adoption Authority of Ireland signalled its intentions with regard to the ratification of the Hague Convention for quite some time before its ratification in November 2010 through its website notices, its Annual Report and through public fora with which it engaged. It also briefed the adoption support groups on its intentions in this regard. The Authority has been dealing with callers throughout the transition period and has sought to explain in an empathetic way the direction which the adoption process was taking and has also endeavoured to keep them updated on any significant developments.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Adoption Authority of Ireland is a regulatory body whose statutory functions are prescribed by legislation and while the Authority is always mindful of the stresses and emotional issues which face prospective adoptive parents, it is not charged with the responsibility of counselling applicants on adoption matters. This task would be seen as part of the assessment and follow up process provided by the Child and Family Agency. However, the Authority does have a number of professional Social Workers among its staff who can be called upon, when necessary to deal with those applicants who require professional support.

Ministerial Staff

 972. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on her behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties. [13679/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald There are currently two civil servants, at Clerical Officer level, engaged in constituency work at my Department. Both are paid on the approved Clerical Officer salary scale and the gross salary for the two staff combined is €72,534. This is exclusive of PRSI and superannuation costs. As the office is based within my Department, there are no additional accommodation costs or expenses associated with these duties.

Youth Cafés Expenditure

 973. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the reason an application for funding for a youth cafe distributed by her Department and assisted by Pobal was refused; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13751/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald In 2013 capital funding of €1.55m was made available by my Department's for a new Youth Cafe Programme. The new scheme was announced in February 2013.

Pobal assisted my Department with the application and evaluation process for the programme.

Applications for new youth cafés were invited from organisations and consortia involved in the provision of services to young people, with at least 3 years’ experience in the development of youth services. It was a requirement of the scheme that applications were to be submitted ‘online’ by 12 April, 2013. Detailed guidelines on the application and appraisal process and supporting documents in relation to best practice for youth cafes was made available to applicants on the Pobal website.

Some 95 applications for support under this scheme were received by Pobal.

To be eligible, applications were required to demonstrate that the proposed new youth café would be developed in line with my Department’s Youth Cafes in Ireland: a Best Practice Guide; that the facility would be a target service for 12 – to 25 year olds and aim to meet the needs of the local youth population, particularly in disadvantaged areas. Criteria also included the extent to which the proposed new youth café would add value to existing provision for young people in a locality, the capacity of the organisers to effectively manage the project, the involvement of youth in the development of project, how the project would be sustainable and the strength of the overall proposal.

Eligible applications were then appraised on the basis of a detailed assessment of the extent to which the criteria were met. The applications that scored well in the initial process with Pobal were further evaluated in the Department taking account of youth population, existing youth service provision and geographic considerations. Following the completion of the assessment and evaluation process some 30 proposals for new youth cafe projects were approved for funding and for inclusion in the next phase of the youth café programme. These successful applicants have now entered the pre-contracting development stage and are working with Pobal to progress their projects in this regard.

Details of the successful projects are available on my Department’s website at www.dcya.gov.ie.

I have been advised that the application from the group in question did not score sufficiently high in the evaluation process to be included in the list of successful projects. Should the group wish to contact Pobal, arrangements can be made to provide comprehensive feedback on their application under the scheme.

I have arranged for a copy of the detailed guidelines on the application and appraisal process provided to all applicants to be sent to the Deputy.

  Question No. 974 answered with Question No. 958.

  Question No. 975 answered with Question No. 936.

Child Care Reports

 976. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the investigations she is taking into the disclosure by the child care law reporting project that health officials placed a girl in the care of an uncle against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse had been made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14090/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I have requested the information from the Child and Family Agency and I will revert to the Deputy when this information is to hand.

Programme for Government Implementation

 977. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald if she will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to her Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each commitment.  [14109/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I refer the Deputy to the Programme for Government Annual Report for 2014 which is now available on the website of the Department of the Taoiseach.

  Below is a summary update of my Department's commitments contained in the Report.

PfG Ref:Commitment – Department of Children and Youth AffairsPfG Annual Report 2014 – DCYA Update
3.14.1We will maintain the free pre-school year in Early Childhood Care and Education to promote the best outcomes for children and families. We will improve the quality of the pre-school year by implementing standards and reviewing training options.In addition to maintaining the free pre-school year, Budget 2014 provided €4.5m to improve the quality of pre-school services through: a Learner Fund to assist existing staff meet the new qualification requirements being introduced in September 2015; the establishment of a Quality Support Service which will assist services in implementing Siolta and Aistear; and the recruitment of additional Early Years Inspectors to strengthen the existing inspection regime.

A re-focus of funding in 2014 will allow participants in Community Employment to avail of the (afterschool) child-care places.
3.32.11We will end the practice of sending children to St. Patrick’s Institution.Following the announcement in 2013 that St. Patrick's Institution was to close, all sentenced 17 year olds and the 18-20 year old population of St. Patrick’s Institution have now been transferred to the Wheatfield Place of Detention. The only children now remaining at St. Patrick’s Institution are 17 year olds who are remanded in custody pending trial. They continue to be detained in a dedicated unit pending their transfer to Oberstown. Construction is underway on the new €56.4 million facility at Oberstown with the first three new residential units to be available in the third quarter of 2014, which will be used to facilitate the transfer of responsibility for the 17 year olds.
4.1.1We will fundamentally reform the delivery of child protection services by removing child welfare and protection from the HSE and creating a dedicated Child Welfare and Protection Agency, reforming the model of service delivery and improving accountability to the Dáil.The Child & Family Agency was established with effect from 1 January 2014, putting in place a new regime of governance and accountability for child and family services. The Agency has a dedicated remit for child welfare, protection and family support services and involves the merging of Child and Family services from the HSE with Family Support Agency and National Education Welfare Board services. The Agency has a budget of over €600 million and a staff of 4,000, and represents one of the largest single public sector reforms undertaken by Government.
4.1.2We are committed to implementing the recommendations of the Ryan Report including putting the Children First Guidelines on a statutory footing and legislating for the use of “soft information”.The general scheme of the new legislation to put the Children First Guidelines on a statutory footing has been published. This will place obligations on professionals and organisations working with children to report suspected child protection concerns, to share information and to engage in inter-agency and multi-disciplinary working.

The forthcoming National Children and Young People’s Policy Framework 2014-2018 will meet one of the key recommendations of the Ryan Report to bring together relevant policies including those relating to prevention and early intervention initiatives, early childhood education, area based approaches to address child poverty, and addressing youth homelessness and aftercare provision.


  Cross Departmental Commitments
PfG Ref:Commitment – Department of Children and Youth AffairsPfG Annual Report 2014 – DCYA Update
3.37.5

Listed under PfG Cross - Departmental commitments – DCYA has lead responsibility
A new approach is needed to break the cycle of child poverty where it is most deeply entrenched. We will adopt a new area based approach to child poverty, which draws on best international practice and existing services to tackle every aspect of child poverty. Initially, this model will be rolled out to up to ten of Ireland’s most disadvantaged communities, in cooperation with philanthropic partners to co-fund and manage the project.Following a call for proposals and an assessment process, a further ten areas around the country have

been admitted into the design phase of the Area Based Childhood Programme. This is in addition to the three existing initiatives which have already entered the Programme.

Existing

Tallaght CDI

Young Ballymun

Northside Partnership (Darndale/Moatview/Belcamp)

New sites

Bray

Ballyfermot/Dublin 10

Clondalkin/Archways

Dublin Docklands

Finglas (Barnardos-led project)

Grangegorman/NW Inner City

Knocknaheeny (Cork)

Limerick

Louth (Drogheda & Dundalk)

Midlands (to be included as part of Northside project)

A further twelve applicants will be given access to a mentoring programme in the implementation of

evidence-based programmes to improve outcomes for children and young people. This is a very important initiative that will lead the way in improving the lives of children and young people who are experiencing disadvantage. The Programme has attracted 50% co-funding from Atlantic Philanthropies bringing total funding to nearly €30 million.

Semi-State Bodies Remuneration

 978. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald the salaries including pensions and any other bonus related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14476/14]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald I can inform the Deputy that there are no commercial State bodies under the remit of my Department.

Blind Welfare Allowance Eligibility

 979. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork has had their blind welfare allowance cut. [13302/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch 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.

Hospital Appointment Status

 980. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding surgery in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12789/14]

 1028. Deputy Róisín Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11 who is on the urgent orthopaedic waiting list for the Mater hospital and was due to have a procedure in January, the reason this procedure did not go ahead; and when it will be carried out in view of the persons deteriorating condition. [13112/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly I propose to take Questions Nos. 980 and 1028 together.

In relation to the particular patient query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.

Hospital Appointment Status

 981. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a dietician appointment date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12790/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly In relation to the particular patient query raised by the Deputy, as this is a service matter, I have asked the Health Service executive to respond to him directly.

Hospital Appointment Status

 982. Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if he will expedite the date for an operation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12792/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly The National Waiting List Management Policy, A standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2013, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the Health Service Executive, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.

   In relation to this particular issues raised by the Deputy, I have asked the HSE to investigate and respond directly to her.

Nursing Home Services

 983. 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 his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding compliance with new regulations.  [12839/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): Information on Kathleen Lynch Zoom on Kathleen Lynch Under the Health Act 2007, statutory responsibility is given to the Health Information and Quality Authority for the independent inspection and registration of certain categories of designated centres including residential care settings for older people. This responsibility is underpinned by a comprehensive quality framework comprising the Health Act 2007, Regulations and the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland.

  All designated centres, public, voluntary or private nursing homes are subject to the same core standards and regulations in relation to quality and safety in order to ensure the well-being of their residents.

Medical Card Administration

 984. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly if a full medical card will be allocated to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1.  [12865/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.

Medical Card Applications

 985. Deputy Michael Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health Information on Dr. James Reilly Zoom on Dr. James Reilly the position regarding a medical card application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; when the medical card will be processed; the information that is now being sought; if this file has been lost; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12845/14]

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Alex White): Information on Alex White Zoom on Alex White The Health Service Executive has been asked to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The Health Service Executive operates the General Medical Services scheme, which includes medical cards and GP visit cards, under the Health Act 1970, as amended. It has established a dedicated contact service for members of the Oireachtas specifically for queries relating to medical cards and GP visit cards, which the Deputy may wish to use for an earlier response. Contact information has issued to Oireachtas members.


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