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Zappone, Katherine

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Childcare Costs

Was asked: her views on whether the subsidy levels under the single affordable childcare scheme are sufficient to account for the absence of increases to these levels in budget 2018; and if she will make a st...More Button

I believe that budget 2018 marks another substantial further step forward in supporting families with young children. In recent years, I have secured significant additional investment in the early...More Button

There has been an increase of 87% in early years funding since 2015. Despite this, Ireland will require many years of significant investment in child care to catch up with our OECD counterparts....More Button

The increases in the targeted schemes introduced last month are considerable, up to 50%. This will significantly decrease the amount of co-payment required of low-income families or parents in e...More Button

I have used budget 2018 to deliver fully on the commitment in the programme for Government regarding early childhood care and education, ECCE, and to increase investment to support the quality of...More Button

All of these changes are points towards our goal to deliver affordable, accessible, quality child care.More Button

Those are very helpful questions with regard to the Deputy's original question. On subsidies provided for families to ensure that the cost of child care is more affordable, the Deputy's first ques...More Button

I understand that the legislation, asked about in the Deputy's second question, is on track. On the threshold for families, some may have missed out because we do not have the affordable childca...More Button

I know the Deputy is aware of this, but it is important to put on record that significant increases to reduce the cost of child care for families are being put in place and have begun to be deliver...More Button

The Deputy identified the issue of the ICT system.More Button

Childcare Costs (Continued)

The development of the ICT system is progressing in an oversight group process. This involves a special office of people with expertise in information systems to ensure that what is ultimately del...More Button

Child Poverty

Was asked: the extra efforts being taken to tackle youth poverty and child homelessness; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The reduction of child poverty and supports for homeless children and families are key political priorities for the Government. More Button

My Department works closely with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection which has lead responsibility for child poverty in informing the development of this cross-sectoral pri...More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people, including those from disadvantaged communities, throughout the coun...More Button

Recently my Department operated a youth employability initiative funded under the dormant accounts funding scheme. The programmes assisted over 1,000 young people, aged 15 to 24 years, to build ...More Button

During 2016 and 2017, I also gave approval for funding of 14 new youth projects and the expansion of seven others. These sample projects will provide youth services, including those related to h...More Button

There are 109 family resource centres currently in receipt of funding from Tusla and I have provided Tusla with resources for an additional 11 centres to be opened. I have also provided extra su...More Button

In relation to housing, we are working closely with Tusla to provide supports for families in emergency accommodation in order to mitigate the challenges faced by parents and children in this sit...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that the number of children in emergency accommodation is unacceptable. I indicated in my speech in response to the budget that the Government could be doing more, particul...More Button

I thank Deputy Ó Laoghaire for the excellent question. As the Deputy will be aware, I was able to secure funding in budget 2018 in order to ensure the continuation of the area-based programmes tha...More Button

The overall programme is currently being evaluated and reviewed by the Centre for Effective Services. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the impact of the programme nationally. Work on ...More Button

Was asked: the steps she will take to eliminate child poverty; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The reduction of children's poverty is a key political priority for the Government. The Taoiseach has described tackling child poverty as a moral imperative, and this is an issue that we must addre...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the amount of funding that will be ring-fenced for the roll-out of mandatory reporting in 2018; her views on whether this will be sufficient; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I recently announced my intention to commence the mandatory reporting provisions of the Children First Act 2015 with effect from 11 December this year.More Button

It is not possible at this stage to be precise about the amount of funding to be allocated to a specific area such as Children First. Children First mandatory reporting, for example, could benef...More Button

I will shortly be issuing Tusla with its 2018 performance statement in line with the provisions of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013.More Button

Departmental Expenditure (Continued)

Tusla will, in response to the performance statement, prepare a business plan for 2018 which will be submitted to me for consideration. The precise level of funding to be allocated for the roll-ou...More Button

I am pleased to make additional resources of €40.6 million available to Tusla in budget 2018. It will bring Tusla's financial allocation to just over €753 million in 2018. This level of funding...More Button

I am open to correction, but it is my understanding, based on communications with my Secretary General, that Mr. McBride indicated that there could be a significant increase in the number of referr...More Button

The Deputy has asked some excellent questions. In announcing the resources I shared a platform with Mr. McBride and we had a lot of discussions in that regard. He has identified that there are 30...More Button

Child and Family Agency Staff

Was asked: the measures or initiatives being undertaken to ensure the retention of highly skilled social workers within the Child and Family Agency; and the extra resources which will be allocated to recruit ...More Button

I acknowledge that the recruitment and retention of social workers are among the biggest challenges for Tusla. Working in child protection is one of the most difficult tasks and I welcome the dedi...More Button

Child and Family Agency Staff (Continued)

I will be happy to supply the Deputy with the details, but I do not have the specific information to hand. Picking up on his point about the system in place in England, I will also be happy to com...More Button

I understand the reason the Deputy is raising the issue of people working in the area of child protection. I have been encouraging Tusla to show leadership. Yes, we need social workers and to m...More Button

It is certainly a suggestion that could be entertained and I will be happy to communicate it to Tusla. The Deputy has clearly already raised the matter with the CEO, Mr. Fred McBride. His focus i...More Button

Child and Family Agency Funding

Was asked: the way in which the additional financial resources apportioned to Tusla announced in budget 2018 will be deployed.More Button

I am fully aware of the difficulties in County Cork.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have allocated an extra €40.6 million to Tusla for next year. This will bring its allocation to more than €753 million in 2018. It is higher than the ex...More Button

I will shortly issue Tusla with its 2018 performance statement in line with the provisions of the Child and Family Agency Act 2013 and it will then prepare a business plan for 2018, setting out i...More Button

I have already indicated to it that among my priorities for 2018 will be: actions to support mandatory reporting under Children First from 11 December this year; addressing the gaps in out-of-hou...More Button

I am pleased that the extra funding secured will also allow Tusla to recruit over 300 staff, reduce the number of unallocated cases, improve ICT and advance developments in areas such as domestic...More Button

I am pleased to be able to support Tusla in this way in a major programme of service development and reform. More Button

A more specific breakdown of funding happens in the process of preparing a business plan. More generally, however, I can say approximately €15 million will support existing services which also c...More Button

On children living in emergency accommodation, the same supports will be available to them as they move from hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation into family hubs. Tusla does have some respo...More Button

Was asked: if she is satisfied that the funding increase afforded to Tusla in budget 2018 will improve the current functioning within Tusla with regard to its child protection policy and the operations of fam...More Button

I am satisfied that the funding increase of €40.6 million which my Department is providing to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, will bring about positive improvements for vulnerable children and ...More Button

With regard to child protection, Tusla is being provided with additional resources to support the roll-out of the remaining provisions of the Children First Act 2015, which will commence on 11 De...More Button

The additional funding provided will also allow for the expansion of Tusla’s out of hours social work service in 2018. The three existing services will be integrated into one national service wi...More Button

I am also pleased to announce that additional funding in 2018 will allow for 11 new family resource centres to be included in the family resource programme in 2018. Additional funding will also ...More Button

I am pleased to be in a position to support Tusla in its work through the targeting of additional resources to services that will impact positively on vulnerable children and families.More Button

I thank Deputy Wallace. In terms of the Shannon report and Tusla's response to it, the focus is on the extension of out of hours services, particularly in the critical phase of ensuring social wor...More Button

I cannot agree with the Deputy more in terms of the importance of family resource centres and the ways in which they provide the services that are required by children and families in a manner that...More Button

In terms of the talk of €10,000 in funding, through my budget negotiations I have made available up to €10,000 for every existing family resource centre. The centres will have to go through an a...More Button

Child and Family Agency Funding (Continued)

Part of their focus will be on linking in with family hubs in their areas to ensure there are ongoing ways of supporting children in accommodation in that context, for example by bringing their pre...More Button

I apologise for not having time to answer the Deputy's question in my previous reply. As I indicated in response to another Deputy, I have secured funding for 2018. The programme is under evaluat...More Button

I am fully aware that does not cover everything family resource centres intend or desire but the moneys available are also to increase the numbers of family centres. Deputy Wallace said there ar...More Button

Questions Nos. 43 to 47, inclusive, replied to with Written AnswersMore Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Funding

Was asked: to set out the measures being taken to ensure childcare services have the capacity to cope with the expansion of the free preschool year scheme as announced in budget 2018. More Button

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs monitors the capacity of childcare providers on an ongoing basis. In April 2017, more than 120,000 children participated in the early childhood care an...More Button

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs, through the city and county child care committees and Pobal, will continue to monitor issues of capacity and need. The Department is continuing to w...More Button

I think we are both very committed to the sustainability issue. As the Deputy is aware, €1 million was provided in budget 2017 to ensure the sustainability of certain services. The Department has...More Button

I would have been disappointed if the Deputy had not asked me that question. I know this is part of his vision. Speaking personally, I think much of that vision would make sense in some ways if i...More Button

Child Protection

Was asked: the status of the 572 adult retrospective reports of abuse that were unallocated by Tusla in June 2017; and if the number of unallocated cases in this category has increased or decreased in the per...More Button

Tusla has advised me that 1,949 historical or retrospective cases were on hand at the end of July 2017. This represented an increase of 51 on the number for June. Of the cases on hand, 1,370 were...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, an historical or retrospective disclosure is one in which an adult discloses abuse experienced in childhood. I understand the overwhelming majority of such disclosures ar...More Button

This is a very complex and worrying situation. The safety of children today is my top priority.More Button

Was asked: the degree to which she remains satisfied regarding the adequacy of the response to children at risk in the home or in care, having particular regard to the need to ensure early intervention and fo...More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. More Button

Tusla provides a continuum of prevention and early intervention care supports to children and their families who are experiencing difficulties. Approximately 60% of all referrals to Tusla require...More Button

Tusla has made real progress in dealing with cases where children, identified as needing a social worker are waiting for a specific social worker to be allocated to them. This will remain a top p...More Button

I have been reassured to know that all urgent cases are dealt with immediately, and that Tusla ensures that the children in most need of a social work service receive one. The duty team social wo...More Button

Tusla’s Child Protection Notification System holds the names of children deemed to be at current risk. All these cases have a dedicated social worker, a Child Protection Plan and regular multi-di...More Button

I am most conscious of the need to enhance early intervention services and I glad to say that this budget has also provided for the establishment of an additional 11 Family Resource Centres..More Button

  Question No. 42 answered orally.More Button

Child Protection (Continued)

  It is important to point out that all child-protection referrals which allege current or past criminal activity are referred to An Gardaí Síochána. Tusla’s focus is to screen historica...More Button

I thank the Deputy. She referred to the Laois-Offaly report. As the Deputy is aware, these are very complicated matters. I would be happy to share a table which identifies the number of open, un...More Button

The number of unallocated retrospective cases decreased, although referrals are continuing to come in. It is important to note that while the number of referrals is increasing there are many mon...More Button

The most important point to note in the table is that cases which were initially assessed as high priority, that is, where there is a suspicion of risk to a child, comprised 177 in January, 160 i...More Button

The Deputy's first question was excellent. I have had many conversations with Tusla on the issue of the designation of a case as being unallocated and cases which are of high, medium and low prior...More Button

Even though we are using the word "unallocated" that is not to say that there is no social work oversight. It is erring on the conservative side in terms of ensuring the protection of children. ...More Button

Child Abuse

Was asked: the resources in place to deal with allegations of child abuse; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I expected several questions on Tusla. It is a primary focus and I feel very confident that we are moving in the right direction.

  I am pleased to inform the Deputy I have secu...More Button

Child Abuse (Continued)

I will address the One in Four report to which a couple of Deputies have referred. There is a key aspect that was most controversial. It is that the report makes it clear that Tusla could not pro...More Button

I acknowledge the Deputy's comments, but, with earlier questions in mind, I want to make it absolutely and perfectly clear with regard to the report that Tusla followed proper procedures. In follo...More Button

Much of the Deputy's questioning concerns how Tusla responds to allegations of abuse. In the first quarter of 2017 it received 13,629 referrals. The duty social worker carries out preliminary i...More Button

Child Care Services Staff

Was asked: her views on whether an increase in capitation payments for early childhood care and education, ECCE, providers of 7% will be sufficient in view of the chronic issues regarding pay and the viabilit...More Button

Was asked: her views on whether an increase in capitation payments for early childhood care and education, ECCE providers of 7% will be sufficient in view of the chronic issues regarding pay and the viability...More Button

I propose to answer Questions Nos. 37 and 511 together.More Button

I am fully aware of the matters regarding pay for early years workers and have been an advocate for improved conditions for many years. That is why I increased the capitation rate for the first ...More Button

The independent review of costs I have commissioned will provide critical information to guide decision-making on further investment in future budgets. I am pleased to report that my officials m...More Button

The new early years care and education measures announced in budget 2018 form part of continued growth in early years education investment by my Department. In budget 2017 I secured a 35% increa...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department is not the employer of child care workers. I have suggested to the sector that they could apply to the Labour Court for a sectoral employment order, as...More Button

I should also remind Deputies that in addition to the 7% increase achieved in capitation payments, I have also provided €3.5 million towards "non-contact time" for all child care providers who re...More Button

I am pleased to confirm that a full €18 million will be paid in programme support payments in 2018.More Button

I am committed to doing everything I can to help to address the pay and sustainability issues in the early years sector.More Button

Was asked: if she will meet the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection regarding community child care services that, due to its difficulties in recruiting staff through community employment, ha...More Button

I meet my Cabinet colleagues regularly to discuss childcare related issues, and advocate the needs and interests of the sector in accordance with my role as the Minister for Children and Youth Affa...More Button

In relation to the staff recruitment difficulties you have specified, the majority of community childcare services are operating successfully and have been able to manage issues that they face wi...More Button

My Department, and the 30 City and County Childcare Committees across the country, are available to work intensively with any service experiencing difficulties.More Button

Deputies may also be interested to note that centres who register for the enhanced childcare measures introduced last month will gain access to the Programme Support Payment (formerly Non-Contact...More Button

Community services are also expected to benefit from the 'September more affordable childcare measures' given the increase in subsidies paid to parents, in some instances by as much as 50%..More Button

  Question No. 72 answered with Question No. 47.More Button

  Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 60.More Button

Child Care Services Staff (Continued)

I thank the Deputy. The measures that I introduced in budget 2018 were very strategic and came after much reflection on how, having introduced many measures in budget 2017 which are now beginning ...More Button

I hope that is a measure that would support the community sector in the provision of child care, particularly, as the Deputy has identified, in light of the concerns around community employment. I...More Button

Early Years Sector

Was asked: the status of her proposal to provide sectoral payscales for those working in community child care settings.More Button

Was asked: the measures she is taking in order to ensure wages in the early years sector are increased to a rate to which it is considered a viable long-term employment option for qualified workers.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 40 and 51 together.More Button

Child care workers play a critical role in delivering high quality child care services and they deserve to be recognised, valued and respected for this. My Department acknowledges that pay and c...More Button

My Department is somewhat constrained in what it can do in this regard as it is not an employer of child care workers. However it is of course a major funder of the child care sector. It is imp...More Button

My Department is aware that trade unions are active in seeking to achieve a critical mass of representation on the employee side, and I welcome this move. My Department would also be supportive ...More Button

In terms of improving pay and conditions, I have suggested to the sector that it might apply to the Labour Court for a sectoral employment order, SEO, asking the court to make a recommendation re...More Button

In the interim, the last three budgets have increased investment in early years by some 87%. This has helped us to address affordability, access and quality, although I recognise that there is m...More Button

Of course I agree with the Deputy's initial points. I have done a huge amount in terms of trying to identify, with the limited resources available to me, and I got more than others in this budget,...More Button

Early Years Sector (Continued)

Those are many of the arguments I brought forward to the Minister for Finance to persuade and negotiate to get the increases that I got. Therefore, I am not at all in disagreement with the Deputy.More Button

I expect and hope that the sector understands that. The measures I identified are trying to address those issues. I cited for the Deputy a couple of case studies in terms of the increase in capit...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the shortages in ECCE places particularly for the second free preschool year in rural Ireland; and the steps she is taking to address this matter.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to a shortage of ECCE places around the country, particularly in rural areas; and the steps she will be taking to address this.More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to a shortage of ECCE places around the country, particularly in rural areas; and the steps she will be taking to address this.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48, 58 and 512 together.More Button

Following the expansion of ECCE last year 120,000 children participated in ECCE in the peak term, April 2017. The further expansion of ECCE in budget 2018 is expected to see 114,000 children att...More Button

My Department, with the support of the local city and county child care committees and Pobal, actively monitors issues affecting child care provision, including capacity.More Button

In addition, my Department continues to work with the Department of Education and Skills and the Central Statistics Office to identify the number of children eligible for free preschool years. A...More Button

If the Deputy has any specific concerns with regard to a specific area, this area should be brought to the attention of my Department or the local city and county child care committee.More Button

Notwithstanding this, I am keenly aware of the pressures on the sector with regard to maintaining and expanding capacity. My Department provided €8.4 million for its 2017 early years capital fun...More Button

Am I correct that the Deputies' questions refer to crèches or providers that have not previously applied for funding for capital expansion?More Button

In the budget, there is money for capital expenditure. We will develop a process to make that available in budget 2018. I look forward to having these conversations with the Deputies.More Button

Written Answers are published on the Oireachtas website.More Button

Child Care Services

Was asked: her views on dramatically reducing the cost of child care to parents while also increasing wages of workers in the child care sector; the steps she will take to achieve this; and if she will make a...More Button

The cost of childcare continues to be a major issue facing parents in Ireland. We remain the most expensive in the OECD. To alleviate some of this financial burden, I introduced a range of suppor...More Button

In addition to measures aimed at affordability I am also seeking to address issues relating to quality service provision. I increased ECCE capitation by 7%, the first increase since ECCE was int...More Button

I am acutely aware that pay and conditions for the Early Years workforce are highly inadequate. In this regard I am conscious of the fact that while my Department is not the employer of Childcar...More Button

I am pleased that the 'Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare' has been commissioned by my Department, Crowe Howarth will soon begin to examine the costs faced by childcar...More Button

Was asked: her plans to initiate a national discussion on a long-term strategy to transform the childcare sector into a public service.More Button

There are presently no specific plans to initiate a national long term consultation process on the future service delivery model for the early years sector in this country. However, a number of fu...More Button

My Department is currently in the process of preparing Ireland's first dedicated Early Years Strategy, as committed to in Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures. My officials are also preparing a ten...More Button

My Department recently commissioned Crowe Howarth to conduct an independent review of the cost of delivering high quality childcare in Ireland.More Button

The Programme for Government contains 14 commitments relating to high quality and affordable childcare. Over the last three budgets we have increased funding in childcare by 87%. Notwithstandin...More Button

Child and Family Agency Data

Was asked: the number of referrals made to Tusla across all abuse categories in each of the years 2011 to 2016; the procedures that are followed following a referral to Tusla; and if she will make a statement...More Button

In 2016 there was a total of 47,630 referrals made to Tusla. Following Tusla's initial review of each referral, just over 19,000 were deemed to be a concern about abuse. These referrals relate to p...More Button

  Question No. 40 answered orally.More Button

Foster Care Provision

Was asked: the steps she will take to address the shortage in foster carers; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

We need a regular supply of foster carers to provide a quality service for children. A small number of areas have problems in recruiting enough local foster carers. Other areas have good availabili...More Button

Foster carers are acknowledged as the backbone of our child care services, looking after 92% of children in care. This compares with 74% in the UK. We have an extensive foster care service which ...More Button

Ensuring that we can recruit sufficient numbers of foster carers and the ethnic diversity needed to provide this variety of placements is challenging, but required for good matching between child...More Button

I please to say that I have secured an additional €40m for Tusla in the Budget for 2018, which will be used to target areas of identified need. Specific to the foster care service is the recruitm...More Button

International research tells us that the recruitment of foster carers requires a number of focussed strategies. Tusla employs a variety of methods in ongoing campaigns to attract potential foster...More Button

The outcomes for children in foster care in Ireland are much praised by professional colleagues abroad, especially in terms of school completion, stability, family centred care and progress in th...More Button

Was asked: if she will allocate increased funding to foster care services in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if she will allocate increased funding to foster care services in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 513 together.

  Additional resources of €40.6m is being made available to Tusla as a result of Budget 2018 decisions by this Government. T...More Button

  Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 48.More Button

  Question No. 59 answered with Question No. 54.More Button

Homeless Persons Supports

Was asked: the specific programmes her Department and Tusla have in place to assist parents and children in the emergency accommodation system while they await being housed in view of the increase in the numb...More Button

Was asked: the family supports available to homeless families in family hubs; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 65 together.

  I am committed to helping children and families as part of a whole-of-Government response to the problem of homelessness. W...More Button

Family Support Services

Was asked: her plans to assist stay-at-home parents; and her views on whether they were not affected positively in the recent budget. More Button

I am committed to the provision of childcare options for families that respect parental choice and reflect international evidence on how to attain the best outcomes for children.

 &n...More Button

Adoption Records Provision

Was asked: her plans to protect descendants of illegally adopted persons who remain unaware of their adoption status; and if she plans to widen the search for illegal adoptees to inform them that their medica...More Button

The term ‘illegal adoption' is used to cover a wide range of situations and actions including the incorrect registration of a birth. Such persons can currently seek information and assistance from ...More Button

In 2010 the Adoption Authority of Ireland undertook a review of information regarding alleged incorrect birth registrations held by the former Adoption Board. There were approximately 100 Nationa...More Button

- 75 cases of people whose births were registered in the name of their "adopted" parents though no adoption took place; and More Button

- 40 cases where persons assumed the identity of their "adopted" parents but there is no record of an adoption or birth registration.More Button

Other than this limited information, any attempts to quantify the numbers of incorrect birth registrations can never be any more than highly speculative given that it is impossible to quantify ho...More Button

Youth Services Provision

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the closure of a centre (details supplied); her views on whether the closure of such a facility would impact on the programme for Government commitment to tackle ...More Button

Was asked: if she will intervene into the closure of a centre (details supplied) in view of the centre's role in providing essential services to children and young persons in the community; and if she will ma...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 72 together.

  I was advised two weeks ago that a decision had been taken by the board of the management company operating Brookfield Yout...More Button

  Question No. 48 answered orally.More Button

Was asked: her views on the impact a club (details supplied) has had on local young persons interested in animal and equine care; if she will work with her colleagues in other Departments to introduce similar...More Button

Was asked: if she will visit a club (details supplied) to examine the positive results of young persons coming together to identify their own areas of interest with community development workers; her plans to...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 56 and 64 together.More Button

The Clondalkin/Ballyowen Equine facility is an initiative which was financed by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with South Dublin County Council. The facility provides a base for y...More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communitie...More Button

In 2017, €57.4 m has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services. Budget 2017 and 2018 provided a total of €7m extra funding for youth services. Additional fundin...More Button

Child and Family Agency Services

Was asked: if she is satisfied with the overall performance of Tusla; her plans to conduct a review into the operations of Tusla with regard to its child protection policy, in view of the report by the UN Spe...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that I am satisfied with the overall performance of Tusla. I have no current plan to conduct a review into the operations of Tusla with regard to its child protection policy...More Button

Was asked: the capacity of a centre (details supplied).More Button

Was asked: the number of children currently placed in a centre (details supplied) on foot of a secure care order.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 497 and 498 together.

  I have been advised by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, that the centre referred to has the capacity to cater for 10 c...More Button

Was asked: her plans for a protocol for Tusla to follow relative to its communication with its clients, foster families and so on; if the organisation can provide an efficient response to those that contact i...More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. I take it from the Deputy's question that he is seeking further clarification relating to Tusla's communications practice and protocol, as it relates to...More Button

Was asked: the operational status of a child and adolescent residential facility (details supplied) in County Donegal; if the unit remains closed; when it is expected to re-open to service users; if the centr...More Button

I have been advised by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, that at this time the centre concerned is not being used as a residential childcare facility. The purpose and function of this centre is ...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme Data

Was asked: if she will report on the affordable child care scheme; the current and projected funding; the take-up across the country; the level of subsidies being given; and if she will make a statement on th...More Button

I am committed to ensuring that childcare is affordable, accessible and of a high quality. I continue to work with my officials to deliver the new Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS). Strong progress...More Button

  Question No. 51 answered with Question No. 40.More Button

Departmental Programmes

Was asked: her plans for the ABC programme in 2019; the date by which she anticipates publishing the review of the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: her plans for the ABC programme in 2019; the date by which she anticipates publishing the review of the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The ABC Programme is a joint prevention and early intervention initiative, led by the Department for Children and Youth Affairs. The Programme commenced in 2013 and was designed as a time-bound co...More Button

Mental Health Services Provision

Was asked: if her Department has established a working group involving the HSE, the Department of Health and Tusla to co-ordinate a focus for the State's provision of mental health services for young persons;...More Button

I am happy to inform the Deputy that my Department is at present advancing this matter. I and my officials have met with Minister Daly and we are both agreed to review the co-ordination and provisi...More Button

Youth Work Projects Funding

Was asked: her plans to increase the funding for youth work projects in County Laois.More Button

Was asked: the reason funding for Youth Work Ireland in County Laois is lower than the national average.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 54 and 59 together.More Button

In 2017, €57.4 m was allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services, an increase of €5.5m on 2016. I have enhanced this by a further €1.5m in 2018. Laois Youth Services r...More Button

Earlier this year, I approved funding of €800,000 for the establishment of new youth projects and for the augmentation of a small number of existing youth services to meet new challenges arising ...More Button

Each of the sixteen Education and Training Boards, including Laois and Offaly ETB, was invited to nominate locations within their catchment areas for the establishment of new services and to nomi...More Button

Based on the recommendations of a specially convened appraisal committee, and given the very limited resources available for the scheme, I approved the establishment of nine new targeted youth se...More Button

The Department has worked with Pobal and each Education and Training Board (ETB) Youth Officer, to map youth service provision across the State. This mapping exercise will assist the Department a...More Button

Deputies will be aware that my Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those f...More Button

Children and Young People’s Policy Framework

Was asked: the degree to which her Department continues to improve the quality and availability of services for children and young persons, with the objective of ensuring that a particular emphasis is placed ...More Button

The Deputy is aware of my wish to improve the quality and availability of services for children and young persons, with the objective of ensuring that a particular emphasis is placed on providing a...More Button

Family Resource Centres

Was asked: the way in which the increased funding to Tusla for existing and new family resource centres will be allocated; if she will review the facilities of the two existing family resource centres in Coun...More Button

Was asked: if County Kildare will be considered as a location for new family resource centres in view of the low number in the county compared to the county's growing population; and if she will make a statem...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 73 together.

  I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, will receive an additional €40.6 million in fund...More Button

Was asked: further to the announcement in budget 2018 of €40 million additional funding for Tusla, the amount the additional funding to be allocated to family resource centres; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, will receive an additional €40.6 million in funding next year. This will bring Tusla's allocation to over €753 million in...More Button

Arising from Budget 2018, I will shortly be issuing Tusla with its 2018 Performance Statement in line with the provisions of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013. Tusla will, in response to the ...More Button

The precise level of funding to be allocated to the Family Resource Centre Programme will be considered by Tusla, in preparing its Business Plan, having regard to the overall level of funding ava...More Button

It is not my intention to prescribe the overall level of funding to be allocated by Tusla to the Family Resource Centre Programme. It is more appropriate, in my view, that Tusla first sets out i...More Button

However, I can confirm that there will be a significant increase in funding for the Programme within the overall increase of over €40 million, including the addition of 11 Family Resource Centres...More Button

I very much appreciate the role that Family Resource Centres play in offering early intervention support to vulnerable children and families in demographically diverse communities around the coun...More Button

Question No. 509 answered with Question No. 63.More Button

Question No. 510 answered with Question No. 52.More Button

Question No. 511 answered with Question No. 37.More Button

Question No. 512 answered with Question No. 48.More Button

Question No. 513 answered with Question No. 57.More Button

Children in Care

Was asked: the additional resources her Department has provided to support aftercare plans for children leaving State care at 18 years of age from 1 September 2017; her plans to enhance this provision in 2018...More Button

The Deputy will be aware that from 1 September 2017, children leaving state care upon reaching the age of 18 have a statutory right to an aftercare plan to identify any future supports they may req...More Button

The transition to independent adulthood can be particularly challenging for children and young people in care. Tusla had advocated for this important change to assist young people in making the t...More Button

Planning a young person’s new independent living needs to begin years prior to leaving care and continue as part of the care planning process. This preparatory work is facilitated by a social wor...More Button

Arising from Budget 2018, Tusla will receive an additional €40.6 million euro in funding that will bring its allocation to over €753 million euro in 2018.More Button

I will shortly be issuing Tusla with its 2018 Performance Statement in line with the provisions of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013. Tusla will, in response to the Performance Statement, pre...More Button

It is not my intention to prescribe the overall level of funding to be allocated by Tusla to support aftercare plans. It is more appropriate, in my view, that Tusla first sets out its proposals f...More Button

Was asked: the number of children in residential or foster care; the extent to which adequate resources remain available to meet the demand in both circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the end of July 2017, the latest data available, there were 6,297 children living in care in Ireland. Of these, 5,801 children were living in foster care, and 368 in residential care. The rema...More Button

The optimum provision of services for the care and protection of children in Ireland is of the utmost importance to me and central to the work of my Department. Of course, this presents challeng...More Button

It is with this in mind, I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have secured an additional €40.6 million in funding for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, bringing the Agency's allocation to o...More Button

This will enable Tusla to target areas of identified need. In relation to foster care, there will be increased recruitment of social workers to support and recruit foster carers. A dedicated te...More Button

The additional funding will also allow us to further develop our residential care services, providing safe and homely accommodation for some of our most vulnerable children and young people.More Button

Was asked: the extent to which the welfare of children in State care or institutions continues to be monitored effectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has a statutory duty under the Child Care Act 1991 to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection, and if necessary, to re...More Button

The placement of children in care is governed by Regulations. These provide, inter alia, for the welfare of the child, the care practices, care records, accommodation and safety precautions. Ch...More Button

All foster care services and statutory residential centres are subject to inspection by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) and private and voluntary residential centres are inspected...More Button

Within its national office, Tusla, has a dedicated Quality Assurance Team. This team produces monthly, quarterly and annual reports in respect of Tusla's functions, including detailed reporting ...More Button

Officials from my Department meet Tusla management on a regular basis to review the level of service provision, including areas in need of improvement. I myself meet on a regular basis with the ...More Button

The Deputy should also be aware that children in care have access to independent advocacy supports, such as the organisation Empowering People in Care (EPIC). Children in care also have access t...More Button

Child Care Costs

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the ongoing difficulties in regard to affordability and sustainability in the non-ECCE early years sector; and the reason her Department has not increased the amo...More Button

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the ongoing difficulties in regard to affordability and sustainability in the non-ECCE early years sector; and the reason her Department has not increased the amo...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 63 and 509 together.More Button

In recent years, I have secured significant additional investment in the early years sector, focussing investment at each stage on critical elements of early years care and education. The new mea...More Button

The increase in supports now being implemented for the 2017/18 programme year represents a major step towards accessible affordable quality childcare. These increases reflect my ambition to suppo...More Button

These increases are considerable, up to 50% in the targeted subsidies, which significantly decreases the amount of co-payment required of low income families or parents in education or training. ...More Button

These changes are way-points towards our goal to deliver genuine affordable, accessible, quality childcare. My Department is also progressing the development of the Affordable Childcare Scheme wh...More Button

Notwithstanding the above, I recognise the pressures on childcare providers. Before the end of this year, I will be providing a further amount of €3.5m towards “programme support payments” for al...More Button

The increase of 7% in ECCE capitation I just announced should be of significance to all providers as ECCE has become a corner-stone of most childcare services.More Button

Further, my Department has also provided capital investment of over €12m in 2017 with dedicated schemes for both Early Years and School Age Childcare. Investment will continue in 2018 with the de...More Button

In relation to the specific issue raised around sustainability, officials from Pobal and my Department identify and work with providers with serious concerns around their viability. €1m was provi...More Button

  Question No. 64 answered with Question No. 56.More Button

  Question No. 65 answered with Question No. 44.More Button

Child Care Services Provision

Was asked: the policy of her Department regarding the development of crèches and preschools in the Gaeltacht that operate through the medium of the Irish language; and if she will make a statement on the matt...More Button

Was asked: the policy of her Department regarding the development of crèches and preschools inside and outside the Gaeltacht that operate through the medium of the Irish language; the discussions she has had ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 66 and 67 together.More Button

My Department recognises that there is a need to provide supports in the Gaeltacht, and throughout the country, in relation to Irish language needs in the early years sector. This will include a...More Button

I established a subgroup of the Early Years Forum, which includes members from Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta (CNNG), Gaeloideachas, Foras na Gaeilge, na Naonraí Gaelacha, the Department of Educat...More Button

In addition, officials from my Department are inputting to the preparation of the '5 Year Implementation Plan 2017-2022' under the '20 year strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030' in conjuncti...More Button

Oideachas Gaeltachta

Rinne comhghleacaí de mo chuid, an tAire Oideachais agus Scileanna, an Polasaí don Oideachas Gaeltachta a fhoilsiú i 2016. Baineann mo fhreagra leis na Cigireachtaí Atá Dírithe ar An Oideachas sna...More Button

Cuireadh tús le múnla nua de Chigireacht Atá Dírithe ar Oideachas sna Luathbhlianta (EYEI) ar bhonn píolótach i 2015 i suímh luathbhlianta. Tar éis na trialach seo, tugadh faoi próiseas comhairl...More Button

Cuireadh tús le clár iomlán EYEI ar 14 Aibreán 2016. Faoi dheireadh mhí an Mheithimh 2017, tá cigireacht déanta ar 20% (867) de na seirbhísí Luathbhlianta atá ag cur an chláir um Chúram agus Oide...More Button

Spreagann Cigireacht na Luathbhlianta i Tusla a cuid cigirí le bheith ag plé leis na Naíonraí trí mheán na Gaeilge go dtí leibhéal cumais an chigire, agus aithníonn Tusla go n-athraíonn an cumas ...More Button

Faoi láthair, aistríonn Tusla tuairiscí cigireachta nuair a iarrtar iad, agus tá Tusla tar éis réimse leathain de cháipéisí a aistriú don Chigireacht agus do na soláthraithe cláraithe, atá ar fái...More Button

Pléann Tusla le grúpaí de na páirtithe leasmhara luathbhlianta agus tá ionadaí ag na Gaelscoileanna ar ghrúpa Chomhairleach na Cigireachta a chinntíonn go bhfuil béim curtha go leanúnach ar thaca...More Button

Homelessness Strategy

Was asked: the analysis undertaken or being undertaken by her Department on the short and long-term effects of homelessness on children and their development; the way this analysis guides her Department's pol...More Button

I am committed to helping children and families as part of a whole-of-Government response to the problem of homelessness. This Government recognises that homelessness is an extremely distressing s...More Button

Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

Was asked: the position regarding the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam, County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

In March 2017 the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes released a statement confirming that human remains had been found on the site of the former Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co...More Button

Was asked: the status of the process of engagement initiated as part of the Government's response to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. More Button

Following the publication of the Commission of Investigation's Second Interim Report in April of this year, I announced my intention to consult with former residents on what supports and services t...More Button

The first session was held at the Westin Hotel, Dublin on the 30th of June 2017. Over 100 people from around the country, the UK and the USA participated in the event reflecting the high level o...More Button

I attended both events and had an opportunity to meet many of the participants and acknowledge the generosity and courage of all participants in contributing to the dialogue. When completed, the...More Button

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Youth Strategy

Was asked: the progress of the LGBTI+ youth strategy; and when she expects to report to Dáil Éireann on the strategy.More Button

The Programme for Government (2016) gives a commitment to develop a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Youth Strategy.

  I established an Oversight Committee with an Indepen...More Button

National Youth Work Advisory Committee

Was asked: the position regarding the establishment of the national youth work advisory committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Sections 17 and 18 of the Youth Work Act 2001 provide for the appointment of a National Youth Work Advisory Committee. The Committee had an advisory and consultative role to the Minister for Child...More Button

The National Youth Strategy 2015-2020 was published in, 2015. The implementation structures established by my Department under Better Outcomes Brighter Futures (BOBF), the National Policy Framew...More Button

There have been other significant policy and legislative developments that are relevant to the provision of youth services and the role of the National Youth Work Advisory Committee since the 200...More Button

In addition, my Department is fully committed to the reform of the many youth funding schemes. The Deputy will be aware that a number of targeted funding schemes supporting youth services were t...More Button

My Department works closely with the youth work sector, the voluntary youth services, the Education and Training Boards, other government departments and agencies and consults with young people t...More Button

For the above reasons, it is not my intention to reconvene the National Youth Work Advisory Committee while the reform process is ongoing. However, officials from my Department intend to facilit...More Button

Departmental Bodies Data

Was asked: the State bodies or boards that fall under the remit of her Department; and the number of members of each State body or board that are not qualified within the field in which the board or body has ...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that the bodies under the aegis of my Department are the Child and Family Agency (Tusla), the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI), the Ombudsman for Children's Office (OCO) ...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that some child care providers are only offering sessional rates for parents in excess of the three hours covered by the new ECCE scheme resulting in hig...More Button

The ECCE programme is a three hour educational programme funded by my Department. Any fees for childcare hours over and above the ECCE hours is at the discretion of the service provider. Registere...More Button

If a parent requires ECCE only, and is having difficulties finding such a place, their local city/county childcare committee can provide them with assistance.More Button

Community Childcare Subvention Programme

Was asked: if she will review a matter (details supplied); if she will address the concerns of the person; the steps she is taking to assist on these issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Over the course of the past year and beyond, my Department has been working to build a childcare system that is based on principles of affordability, accessibility and quality.More Button

The increase in supports I have provided for the 2017/18 Programme year represents a major step towards accessible, affordable, quality childcare after decades of neglect and under-investment by ...More Button

There are two supports being rolled out under the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS and CCSP) Schemes. These include universal (non means tested supports) of up to €1,040 per year, and enhance...More Button

The specific rules around the CCS schemes including eligibility has been constructed and layered to ensure that those most in need receive the highest level of subvention.More Button

My Department received a high volume of calls from parents looking to know where they could access the new universal subsidy. A list of services that have signed the CCSP contract (which enables...More Button

I recognise the pressures on childcare providers and I have provided €3.5 million towards 'non contact time' for all childcare providers who register for the enhanced childcare measures. This, i...More Button

My Department has also worked to enhance access to the schemes by changing the former CCS Private Scheme to the expanded CCS Plus Scheme through which community providers can opt to register chil...More Button

My Department is also working to streamline the registration process in consultation with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.More Button

I am committed to ensuring that our childcare subvention schemes meet the needs of children, parents and providers. My Department will continue to review the CCS scheme and ensure that the rules...More Button

Departmental Agencies Staff Recruitment

Was asked: the status of the appointment of members to fill the vacancies on the council of Gaisce, the President’s award, in view of the fact that the original advertisement stated that three of the seven va...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that all successful candidates were written to last week.More Button

National Lottery Funding Disbursement

Was asked: the amount of funding per annum a charity (details supplied) received for 2016 or the nearest available year; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department operated a discretionary National Lottery Funding Scheme some years ago in which grants were allocated to community groups and programmes to support children, young people and familie...More Button

The child contact centres were set up under a pilot project operated by Barnardos and One Family from October 2011 to December 2013. I have made contact with the Minister for Justice and Equalit...More Button

Child and Family Agency Expenditure

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 197 of 21 September 2017, the proportion of the €14,569,718.70 expenditure on legal fees by Tusla in 2016 which was spent on external legal counsel; the firms ...More Button

As indicated to the Deputy previously, expenditure by Tusla on legal matters is not a direct financial transaction of my Department and as such the Department does not routinely hold information in...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: if flexibility will be given in circumstances in which a family has a child in a crèche and it has signed up to the affordable childcare scheme and the parent works three days one week and two days...More Button

Childcare provisions in my Department operate to support parents to access employment and to meet the needs and well-being of children. It is considered to be in the best interests of children to ...More Button

In certain exceptional circumstances, we do allow for unusual arrangements, but as currently constructed we cannot facilitate all possible permutations of childcare. Our system operates on the b...More Button

Youth Services Funding

Was asked: if she will increase funding to an organisation (details supplied) which saw a funding reduction of 20% from 2010 to 2017, inclusive, while at the same time the organisation grew by 35%; and if she...More Button

In 2017, funding of €57.4m has been provided to my Department for various youth schemes, an increase of €5.5m over 2016. The additional funding is being used for programmes that target disadvantag...More Button

Scouting Ireland receives grant aid on an annual basis under the Youth Service Grant Scheme. In 2017, €876,337 was allocated to the organisation under the Scheme, a 5% increase over the 2016 all...More Button

Over the past few years, Scouting Ireland has received significant funding outside of the Youth Service Grant Scheme. The organisation was allocated €150,000 in current funding in 2015 and a furth...More Button

In addition to the grant funding provided to Scouting Ireland in 2017 an additional application for funding has been received for funding for its AcadaMoot Programme and this application is curre...More Button

Was asked: the way in which she plans to spend the additional €1.5 million allocated to the youth services sector in budget 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities....More Button

As the Deputy is aware, Budget 2018 has provided an additional €1.5 million in current funding to my Department to support the provision of youth services. This additional funding will be used f...More Button

Was asked: the amount of funding made available to various youth and youth support organisations in the course of 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities....More Button

In 2017, €57.4 million has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services. Budget 2017 and 2018 provided a total of €7 million extra funding for youth services. Th...More Button

These schemes include the Youth Service Grant Scheme, under which funding is made available on an annual basis to thirty national and major regional youth organisations. Targeted supports for di...More Button

The Local Youth Club Grant Scheme supports youth work activities at a local level. These grants are made available to all youth clubs and groups through the local Education and Training Boards. ...More Button

In addition to the above, I was pleased to approve the establishment of the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme in 2017. The primary focus of this scheme will be to assist volunteer led clubs and ...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme Implementation

Was asked: the uptake of the affordable childcare scheme rolled out in September 2017, by area and cost of subsidies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I am committed to ensuring that childcare is affordable, accessible and of a high quality.

  The increase in supports I have provided for the 2017/2018 programme year represents ...More Button

Child Care Services Funding

Was asked: if she will report on the €35 million allocated to her Department for childcare schemes in budget 2017; the schemes it funded; if she will provide a breakdown of funding for the different schemes; ...More Button

In Budget 2017 I was pleased to secure a gross funding allocation for my Department of €1,286 million, representing an increase of €172 million on 2016.More Button

€466 million in 2017 has been allocated to Childcare. The primary components of this spend are capitation for the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) at €278 million, capitation for...More Button

As the year progresses my Department will continue to manage expenditure within the allocation agreed by the Dáil in the 2017 Estimates in order to deliver my Department’s agreed objectives.More Button

Child and Family Agency Investigations

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 183 of 27 September 2017, if further information has been received by Tusla; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am aware that the Deputy provided more information to allow Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to examine the issues concerned. I am advised that the information was not sufficient enough to all...More Button

Employment Rights

Was asked: her plans to introduce a sectoral employment order for workers in the early years preschool sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As the Government is not an employer of workers in the early years pre-school sector it is very constrained in what it can do in regard to pay and conditions. It does, however, accept that it is a...More Button

My Department is aware that trade unions are active in seeking to achieve a critical mass of representation on the employee side and welcomes this move. My Department would also be supportive of...More Button

It should be highlighted that my Department would have no role in relation to the SEO process, however, as a significant funder, and with policy responsibility for quality, my Department would be...More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: the position regarding correspondence that was submitted to her Department in July 2017 (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is working with Pobal and the Chief State Solicitor's Office (CSSO) to establish the current situation and options available to us regarding this matter. In addition to this, the Dep...More Button

We undertake to work through these issues as quickly as possible. Further, the Department will contact the named service directly to establish a process for future action as soon as is possible.More Button

Youth Services

Was asked: the extent to which her Department continues to directly liaise with youth organisations with particular reference to the identification of issues of concern such as the provision of financial supp...More Button

My Department maintains close contact with the national youth organisations and I and officials from my Department meet formally with 30 national youth organisations twice a year to share knowledg...More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communitie...More Button

In 2017, €57.4 million has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services. Budget 2017 and 2018 provided a total of €7 million extra funding for youth services. Th...More Button

These schemes include the Youth Service Grant Scheme under which funding is made available on an annual basis to thirty national and major regional youth organisations. In 2017, some €10.65 mill...More Button

This funding is intended to ensure the emergence, promotion, growth and development of youth organisations with distinctive philosophies and programmes aimed at the social education of young peop...More Button

The Local Youth Club Grant Scheme supports youth work activities at a local level. These grants are made available to all youth clubs and groups through the local Education and Training Boards. ...More Button

In addition, I was pleased to approve the establishment of the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme in 2017 which will provide €6.35 million nationally. The primary focus of this scheme will be to ...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which her Department continues to support County Kildare youth services; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities....More Button

In 2017, €57.4 million has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services. Budget 2017 and 2018 provided a total of €7 million extra funding for youth services. Th...More Button

In 2017, an amount of €525,425 was allocated for the projects and services under Kildare Youth Services, which operates under Youth Work Ireland. My Department provides funding to Kildare Youth S...More Button

In addition, I was pleased to approve the establishment of the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme in 2017. The primary focus of this scheme will be to assist volunteer led clubs and groups that w...More Button

Child Safety

Was asked: the number of complaints in respect of children at risk received in the relevant sections of her Department in the past 12 months; the degree to which all have been investigated; and if she will ma...More Button

My Department does not collate the number of communications received by the Department in relation to children who may be at risk. Such communications received are referred to Tusla, the Child and...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which support services are being made available to children who may be at risk as a result of being undocumented non-nationals; the extent to which further measures are planned to pro...More Button

The Child Care Act, 1991 applies to all children resident in the State irrespective of their immigration status. Under the Child Care Act, 1991 and the Child and Family Agency Act 2013, Tusla has ...More Button

Children First National Guidance (2011) gives advice for notifying Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, of situations where abuse is suspected. A range of professionals including teachers, nurses...More Button

The Children First Act, 2015 places a statutory obligation on key professionals (mandated persons) to report concerns of harm above a defined threshold to Tusla without delay. These provisions w...More Button

If a child is taken into care, their needs are given priority. A social worker is assigned to a child placed in State care and has a duty to prepare and regularly review the care plan for the ch...More Button

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children are placed in care and have their needs assessed, and are allocated a social worker. More Button

As of the end of July, Tusla had received 20 young people under the Calais Special Project. The young people were taken into the care of Tusla, and are receiving dedicated support and services, ...More Button

Children who, with their parents, live in Direct Provision, are provided with welfare supports as required. Tusla have seconded an experienced social worker to the Department of Justice and Equa...More Button

Departmental Staff

Was asked: the extent to which adequate staff remain available to the various sections of her Department with a view to ensuring the smooth and effective operation of all the services for which she is respons...More Button

I am satisfied the Department is adequately resourced to carry out its functions and services. Since my appointment as Minister, the staffing complement has grown from 181 to 236 people, with a fu...More Button

As additional streams of work emerge in my Department, it is inevitable that, from time to time, temporary staffing shortfalls may occur. These are remedied at the earliest opportunity. I am sa...More Button

Departmental Agencies Staff Data

Was asked: the extent to which sufficient and appropriately qualified staff remain available to the various offices under her aegis in view of the various responsibilities for which she is responsible and eve...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, there are four agencies within my remit and I wish to advise as follows:More Button

Departmental Functions

Was asked: the extent to which the investigative structures within her Department or bodies under her aegis are deemed adequate to meet current and future requirements as evaluated by reference to the time ta...More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is required under the Child Care Act 1991 to investigate allegations of abuse, including historical abuse, and to engage with An Garda Síochána where appropriate.More Button

Tusla provides a comprehensive rage of services and supports for vulnerable children and families. I have secured an additional €40 million for Tusla in the Budget, bringing the Agency's allocat...More Button

I am committed to the protection and welfare of children and believe that there is a moral duty on Government and on society to work together to protect children and to ensure their safety. With...More Button

Youth Justice Strategy

Was asked: the extent to which support services exist to rehabilitate and educate or upskill first-time juvenile offenders with specific reference to the need to ensure that such first-time offenders do not b...More Button

The Children Act 2001, as amended, provides the statutory basis for dealing with children who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The key principle of the Children Act 2001 is that...More Button

My Department provides funding to the Irish Youth Justice Service for services relating to the Oberstown Children Detention Campus (Oberstown) and the Bail Supervision Scheme which has recently b...More Button

The Bail Supervision Scheme provides more therapeutic supports in the community for children who are subject to bail conditions. The service provides a ‘wraparound’ service to the young person an...More Button

If a child is remanded or sentenced to a period of detention in Oberstown, a range of rehabilitative supports are offered to every child as part of an overall programme, which focuses on the chil...More Button

The wide range of rehabilitation, education and support services provided and supported by the Irish Youth Justice Service are detailed in the Tackling Youth Crime: Youth Justice Action Plan 2014...More Button

Counselling Services Provision

Was asked: the extent to which she envisages improved counselling services for children at risk and their families; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency is required to support and promote the development, welfare and protection of children. Tusla provides funding to vo...More Button