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Zappone, Katherine

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Finance Bill 2017: Financial Resolutions

I move:More Button

Domestic Violence Services Funding

Was asked: the departmental funding to each domestic violence refuge in each of the past five years.More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence whether in the context of the family or otherwi...More Button

School Discipline

Was asked: the number of post-primary students that were placed on a reduced timetable in the 2016/2017 school year; the reason and duration regarding being placed on reduced timetables; and if she will make ...More Button

Was asked: if she has issued guidelines to post-primary schools regarding the rationale for placing young persons on reduced timetables; if consent for such a decision is required by the young persons, parent...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1085 and 1086 together.

  The Educational Welfare Service of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has advised my Department that the Agency does no...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding engagement and progress between State agencies and a school (details supplied); the name of each agency; the number of meetings that each agency has had with the school since...More Button

The Educational Welfare Service of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has advised that Tusla Educational Welfare Services (EWS) Regional Manager (RM), Senior Educational Welfare Officer (SEWO) and...More Button

As a follow-up to the meeting, further engagement took place between the relevant parties in relation to the issues that were raised at this meeting. More Button

Tusla EWS held a 'Restorative Practices in Schools' information session on 30/05/17 which was attended by the Principal, 2 Deputy Principals and the Guidance Counsellor. More Button

The Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) assigned to the school has also had a number of meetings with the school in relation to individual cases of expulsion and suspension.More Button

Was asked: if progress has been made by State agencies in addressing the exceptionally high ongoing level of forced absence punishments at a school (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the ...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined below.

  The following are the number of expelled and suspended students from 2014-2017:

  - 2014/2015 - 6...More Button

Was asked: her views on suspensions as a form of student punishment, specifically on the level of suspensions at a school (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tusla Educational Welfare Service (EWS) has advised my Department that suspension should be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern. The decision to suspend a student sho...More Button

Was asked: the number of expulsions at a school (details supplied) for the academic years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 in order that the interests of transparency can be met and a more full understanding of the pa...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined below.

  Tusla has advised there was a 0.6% rate of expulsions in 2014/2015, enrolment 653 (4 students); 0.7% rate of expulsio...More Button

Was asked: if a school (details supplied) has recorded the highest percentage of suspensions and expulsions; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Educational Welfare Service of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has advised my Department that the school referred to has not recorded the highest number of suspensions and expulsions.More Button

Was asked: her views on whether it is necessary to intervene in the continued exceptionally high level of suspensions and expulsions at a school (details supplied); the shape these interventions will take; th...More Button

Was asked: the powers she has to address the exceptionally high level of suspensions and expulsions at a school (details supplied); her plans to invoke these powers; and if she will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: the ongoing monitoring and supervision of school management at a school (details supplied) being undertaken by her Department with regard to the continued and ongoing exceptionally high level of su...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1130 to 1132, inclusive, together.More Button

The Educational Welfare Service of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has advised my Department that there has been a downward trend year on year in the number of suspensions and expulsions in th...More Button

Tusla EWS does not have role in the internal management of a school. Each school's Board of Management is responsible for the management of the school and the Code of Behaviour is the policy in ...More Button

Where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days, the parents, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal the suspensi...More Button

At the time when parents are being formally notified of such a suspension, they and the student should be told about their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education ...More Button

A parent, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 section 29).More Button

Sexual Offences Data

Was asked: if Tusla will produce an annual report on sexual violence statistics for 2016 in 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the provision of services to victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence, and provides funding to some 60 organisation...More Button

Was asked: if funding will be provided for an organisation (details supplied) to publish statistics on rape and sexual assault for 2016 in view of the fact that this cannot be done without same; and if she wi...More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence.

  Since its establishment in...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: if her Department will contribute to the funding of a second sexual abuse and violence study here, SAVI 2; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The proposal to conduct a second Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI 2) research project has been raised for several years. The Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI 1) study was funde...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education

Was asked: if there is provision to extend the age band for participation on the early years care and education in exceptional circumstances; her plans to review and or extend the scheme (details supplied); a...More Button

The Early Childhood and Education Programme (ECCE) programme was expanded from September 2016 so that children may start free pre-school from age 3, and can continue in free pre-school once the chi...More Button

Under Budget 2018, the ECCE programme has been expanded further so that all eligible children can avail of a full two programme year. There will also only be one enrolment point each year (i.e. ...More Button

An upper age limit in free pre-school was set by the Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment on the advice of the Department of Education and Skills. Limiting the diversity in age ranges i...More Button

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs does its best to ensure, in so far as is possible, the equitable treatment of all children and families who apply for child care funding under the ECC...More Button

For the programme year 2017/2018 parents may request an exemption from ECCE eligibility criteria under limited circumstances from my Department; specifically where a diagnosed special and/or medi...More Button

Domestic Violence Incidence

Was asked: if she will request Tusla to collect figures for women and children using domestic violence refuges and step down accommodation on a monthly basis for inclusion in the monthly Department of Housing...More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the provision of services to victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence. Services are delivered by some 60 organisat...More Button

Tusla facilitates a range of services to victims of domestic violence and their families, including 155 family units, comprising 147 emergency refuge family units and 8 emergency non-refuge famil...More Button

As part of its national information project, Tusla gathers administrative data from its service provider organisations, on an annual basis. Currently arrangements are not in place to seek monthl...More Button

As refuges are used to capacity most of the time, the numbers of individual families using them remains fairly stable at any time. Depending on the number and size of families in residence at a ...More Button

Tusla will be seeking further details from provider organisations in 2018 on use of refuges, and remains open to contributing to homelessness data should there be a particular request to the Agen...More Button

Suicide Prevention

Was asked: if all front-line staff, including but not exclusively those of Tusla, receive suicide prevention training, if suicide prevention training is mandatory for front-line staff under the aegis of her D...More Button

While the provision of suicide prevention training to all frontline staff for the four agencies within my remit is an operational matter, I wish to inform the Deputy that I am advised by the agenci...More Button

- A number of staff in the Adoption Authority of Ireland have participated in suicide prevention training. The Authority supported their attendance and will continue to support other staff membe...More Button

- To address suicide or self-harm behaviour in young people in Oberstown Children Detention Campus, training of 6 in house facilitators has commenced to roll out Suicide Prevention and Self-Harm ...More Button

- While suicide prevention training is not currently mandatory for frontline staff in Tusla, it is prioritised by managers. All staff in Tusla have access to training in SafeTalk and ASSIST thro...More Button

The Office of the Ombudsman for Children is independent in its function and reports to the Oireachtas on matters within its remit, as required by the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002. I have f...More Button

Child and Family Agency Investigations

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 516 of 17 October 2017 and 183 of 27 September 2017, when a formal response will be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I refer the Deputy to my reply to parliamentary question 516 of 17 October 2017; the position remains unchanged. I am advised by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, that searches were conducted on...More Button

Family Resource Centres

Was asked: if she will meet with a group (details supplied) in view of the struggles many family resource centres are facing across the country and in County Donegal which have not recovered from 30% funding ...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that additional funding of approximately €5.0m is being made available to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to be spent between now and the end of 2018 to support...More Button

Was asked: if she will meet with family resource centres to address concerns (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that additional funding of approximately €5.0m is being made available to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to be spent between now and the end of 2018 to support...More Button

Was asked: the family resource centres funded by her Department; the number of full-time equivalent staff in each centre; and the level of core funding for their activities, in tabular form.More Button

There are 109 Family Resource Centres currently in receipt of funding from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Tusla provides funding to the centres under an annual agreement. This funding is pro...More Button

In relation to the additional data which the Deputy has requested, I have asked Tusla to provide the information requested directly to the Deputy.More Button

Was asked: the increase in funding allocated for resource centres for 2018; the number of new family resource centres that she expects to fund with this allocation; the number of core full-time equivalent sta...More Button

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that additional funding of approximately €5.0m is being made available to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to be spent between now and the end of 2018 to support...More Button

This includes the provision of additional funding to Tusla to expand the existing Family Resource Centre Programme. A total of 11 centres will be added to the Family Resource Centre Programme in...More Button

Tusla is also being provided with additional funding in 2018 to support the existing 109 Family Resource Centres across the country. Centres will be asked to work with their local Tusla office t...More Button

I am also pleased to announce that my Department is providing exceptional, once-off funding for Family Resource Centres to be spent by the end of this year. This funding will be in the form of m...More Button

Family Resource Centres are independent organisations. They are managed by a Voluntary Board of Management which is representative of the local community. The centres operate independently of T...More Button

Tusla administers the Family Resource Centre Programme. As the Family Resource Centre Programme is managed by Tusla, it is a matter for that organisation to make decisions regarding the individu...More Button

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

Child and Family Agency Expenditure

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 505 of 17 October 2017, if the 35 member firms paid €12.6 million by Tusla in fees in 2016 are contracted for service on a case-by-case basis by Tusla or paid ...More Button

As the subject matter of the Deputy's question relates to a day-to-day operational matter for Tusla, I have referred the matter to the attention of Tusla for a directly reply.More Button

Was asked: the services provided by a firm (details supplied) to Tusla in 2016 in view of the fact that the firm was paid a €1 million management fee by the agency in 2016.More Button

As the subject matter of the Deputy`s question relates to a day-to-day operational matter for Tusla, I have referred the matter to the attention of the agency for direct reply to the Deputy.More Button

Rape Crisis Network Funding

Was asked: the funding allocated to an organisation (details supplied) in each of the years 2014 to 2017 in tabular form.More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence. Since its establishment in 2014, Tusla has rev...More Button

Child Care Services

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to issues raised by a local authority (details supplied) in relation to child care; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

It is important that we acknowledge the critical role childcare workers play in delivering high quality childcare services. They deserve to be recognised, valued and respected for this. The Depart...More Button

The Programme for Government commits to carrying out an independent review of the cost of providing quality childcare. The 'Independent Review of the Cost of Delivering Quality Childcare' which ...More Button

In terms of pay for the Early Years sector, it must be noted that my Department is not the direct employer of childcare workers. However, in terms of improving pay and conditions I have suggeste...More Button

Under an SEO process, organisations substantially representative of employers and employees come together to agree a way forward and submissions are sought from key stakeholders. My Department w...More Button

In the interim, my Department continues to invest significant resources in the early years sector. In the last three Budgets (2016, 2017 and 2018) investment in Early Years sector has increased b...More Button

The funding provided by my Department has always been intended to be sufficient to cater for all of the costs associated with the childcare schemes funded, including administrative and "non-conta...More Button

On 11 April 2017, I made an announcement that the Affordable Childcare Scheme (ACS) would not commence this September but that a range of measures would be introduced in September by my Departmen...More Button

The ‘September measures’ relate to the introduction of the Community Childcare Subvention Universal (CCSU) payment and the increase in band rates across the different strands of the Community Chi...More Button

I am keenly aware of the pressures on the sector with regard to availability of places and sustainability and, following on from significant investment in 2016 and 2017, my Department will provid...More Button

Although my Department has been successful in securing additional funding for this sector over the past three budgets, as outlined above, it is acknowledged that much more must be done if we are ...More Button

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

Was asked: if she will address a matter regarding an application by a crèche (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Pobal have looked at the application, appraisal and appeal for this service. The service applied for Strand A under School Aged Capital. More Button

Strand A was for completely new after schools services. The appraiser looked at the application with this in mind, the application stated that the service currently runs an after-school and brea...More Button

It was deemed that, even though the service is going to now use a log cabin for the purposes of after-school, the fact that the current after-school service would be moving to the cabin, no new s...More Button

The appeals reviewer agreed with this assessment. This logic has been applied throughout the SAC capital grant this year, where an existing service was being closed to open another service it wa...More Button

Departmental Websites

Was asked: the external company undertaking an audit of her departmental website; the cost of the audit; the timeframe for its completion More Button

There is no audit of the website of my Department being undertaken.More Button

Was asked: the last time her Department's website was revamped or remodelled; the cost of same; if she or her Department officials have been consulted regarding creating one stand-alone online Government port...More Button

The structure of the website of my Department is unchanged since the establishment of the Department in June 2011. As required new sections may be added to the website to reflect policy developmen...More Button

Was asked: the investment in her Department’s website since 2011 including total associated costs incurred; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department was established on 2nd June, 2011. Below are the costs of website development since then.

  Website Development

More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Was asked: the number of ECCE places available in each county as of September 2017 in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the number of children that were eligible for the ECCE scheme in September 2017 by county. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1100 and 1101 together.

  The information requested is not yet available for September 2017 so I have provided the same information for the previ...More Button

Child and Family Agency Services

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 497 and 498 of 17 October 2017, if she has been provided with the reason the centre is operating at 50% capacity; if the decision to reduce capacity was take...More Button

Special care is where a young person is detained in a secure setting on foot of a High Court order restricting the liberty of a young person. This is an intervention used on an exceptional basis w...More Button

I am advised that while the centre referred to by the Deputy has the capacity to cater for ten young people, it has been operating at a reduced capacity of five young people since 2016. The deci...More Button

I can inform the Deputy that there is an ongoing recruitment campaign by Tusla to increase staffing levels in special care units. I am advised that when staffing levels have been increased to ap...More Button

I am advised that as of the 27th October 2017 there were five young people on the waiting list for special care intervention. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that another special care unit wil...More Button

While awaiting a special care intervention, the young person's allocated social worker is responsible for ensuring that Tusla fulfil their statutory obligations to young people in their care.More Button

Medical Aids and Appliances Provision

Was asked: the estimated cost of the provision of a defibrillator in each public building owned by her Department and agency under the aegis of her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The cost of a defibrillator varies depending on the actual model. My own Department is located in one headquarters building and I can confirm that there are already two defibrillators in place whi...More Button

Strategic Communications Unit

Was asked: the meetings of the strategic communications unit she or her Department officials attended; the date and location of each such meeting; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I can inform the Deputy that I have not attended any meeting of the strategic communications unit. One of my officials at the grade of Assistant Secretary General attended one meeting on 22nd Augu...More Button

Departmental Staff Data

Was asked: the number of Department staff in her press office; the reporting relationship in operation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department's Press Office consists of 1 Executive Officer and 1 Clerical Officer, who assist my media advisor. My Department does not have a Press Officer or engage any external service provide...More Button

Was asked: the names of the special advisers employed in her Department; the names of special advisers to junior Ministers in her Department; the annual salary of each adviser; if these persons were special a...More Button

The names and annual salaries of my Special Advisers are set out below. These appointments and the remuneration applied were made in accordance with the Instructions for Ministerial Appointments a...More Button

Departmental Staff Training

Was asked: the protocol for attendance by staff, both civil servants and political non-civil servants, to continuing professional development programmes and courses; the number of staff, both civil servants a...More Button

My Department supports staff to continue their professional development in their chosen profession through payment of fees to attend various courses and programmes and also payment of subscription ...More Button

Public Relations Contracts Data

Was asked: the public relations companies or agencies the services of which her Department used for information campaigns since 1 January 2017; and the costs incurred to date in 2017.More Button

Details of the expenditure incurred directly by my Department since January 2017 are set out in the following table:

<...More Button

Departmental Funding

Was asked: the steps she has taken to ensure that grant-aided organisations are spending their moneys appropriately in view of the revelations regarding a charity (details supplied) in 2016; if her attention ...More Button

My Department provides funding directly to a wide range of organisations, ranging from statutory agencies under the aegis of my Department to community, voluntary and other organisations. All are ...More Button

Was asked: the supports her Department funds through Pobal; if funding is available for groups to fund resource centres; the way in which groups can apply for such funding; and if she will make a statement on...More Button

A number of supports in my Department are administered through Pobal. The largest of these is the Early Childhood Care and Education programme (ECCE) otherwise known as "free pre-school"...More Button

Brexit Negotiations

Was asked: the details of all planning and research work under way for the impact of the result of Brexit negotiations in her Department or related State agencies; if this analysis is intended for publication...More Button

As Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for Brexit, Minister Coveney has responsibility for coordinating the whole-of-Government response to Brexit. In this capacity,...More Button

Work at Cabinet level is being prepared through cross-Departmental coordination structures. These represent a frequent and active channel through which all relevant Departments are providing the...More Button

As the outcome of the negotiations is not yet known, an important focus of the planning and preparation being undertaken through these structures is on deepening the Government’s analysis and und...More Button

With regard to my own Department, the Deputy will be aware that in January of this year I hosted an all-Ireland sectorial dialogue with young people, members of the Advisory Council for Better Ou...More Button

Furthermore, matters in relation to Brexit were discussed by over 100 children and young people in April of this year as part of the annual regional Comhairle na nÓg Networking events. This has ...More Button

The consultation and research undertaken to date by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs has identified a number of issues of potential concern should negotiations between the EU and UK n...More Button

Departmental Contracts Data

Was asked: the contracts her Department or bodies under the aegis of her Department have with a company (details supplied) or its subsidiaries; the value of the contracts; the year in which the contracts were...More Button

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department, Mother and Baby Homes Commission, Oberstown Children Detention Campus and Adoption Authority of Ireland have no current contracts with the company in...More Button

After-School Support Services

Was asked: the progress to date regarding the introduction of a new system to support and expand quality after-school care for school aged children as set out in the programme for government; and if she will ...More Button

My Department introduced measures in September with the aim of making childcare, including after school care, more affordable for parents and guardians. Funding for the Community Childcare Subvent...More Button

My Department published both the Action Plan on School Age Childcare and the Report of Consultations with Children on After-School Care in March 2017. The Action Plan focuses specifically on sch...More Button

I have also established an expert working group to develop a comprehensive set of quality standards for School Age Childcare. The work of this expert group in ongoing. More Button

In 2017 a Capital Funding programme for School-Age Childcare, was administered by Pobal on behalf of my Department. This capital programme has resourced 488 projects to provide an additional 5,0...More Button

Officials in my Department are currently working on the Affordable Childcare Scheme. Its introduction will provide for subsidisation of childcare for children of various ages.More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the cost of photography in her Department since January 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The amount spent by my Department on photography since January 2017 amounts to €912.66.More Button

Tribunals of Inquiry

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the person responsible for the review of the wrongful accusation of abuse against a person (details supplied) was provided with a set of files that ...More Button

The issue referred to by the Deputy is part of the evidence that was heard at the Disclosures Tribunal of Inquiry, which is chaired by the Hon. Mr. Justice Peter Charleton. It would not be appropr...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes

Was asked: the penalties applied to child care providers found to be in breach of ECCE programme rules, in particular those relating to the return of ECCE deposits in view of the case of persons (details supp...More Button

The rules of the ECCE programme clearly state that a service may request a deposit from parents to secure a place but that this deposit must be returned to the parents once the registration is appr...More Button

Child Care Services Administration

Was asked: her views on a matter relating to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department funds City and County Childcare Committees (CCC) to support parents to identify suitable childcare places. My Department has raised this query with the relevant CCC who have noted th...More Button

Child and Family Agency

Was asked: the appeals process that is in place within Tusla; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I have requested information from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I will forward the reply to the Deputy once I have been furnished with this information.

  The following...More Button

Child and Family Agency Staff

Was asked: the steps that are taken following the receipt of a complaint against Tusla; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I understand that the Deputy's question relates to complaints in relation to Tusla's Child Protection and Welfare services.

  Section 64 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 201...More Button

Family Law Cases

Was asked: if she will review the rights of fathers who wish to take an active role in their children's upbringing.More Button

I would like to advise the Deputy that this is not a matter for this Department since The Department of Justice and Equality has responsibility for family law matters. The Deputy may ask my Cabine...More Button

Youth Services

Was asked: the consideration that has been given to the inclusion of young persons from Gaeltacht areas as a target group in the value-for-money and policy review of youth programmes in view of the emphasis o...More Button

The Value for Money and Policy Review (VFMPR) of the Youth Funding programmes 2014 examined three of the targeted funding schemes, the Special Projects for Youth (SPY) scheme, the Young People’s Fa...More Button

One of the key recommendations of the VFMPR was the amalgamation of the above four schemes into a single targeted youth funding scheme. Stakeholder consultations are on-going in relation to the c...More Button

To provide continued funding to the youth sector during the development of the new funding scheme, the “sample project” programme was created with the following characteristics: priority focus on...More Button

These projects would be based in areas of need as identified by the local Education and Training Boards (ETBs). In 2016, four ETBs established five new youth projects. In 2017, an application p...More Button

There are no specific criteria regarding inclusion of young people from Gaeltacht areas as a target group. The Department does, however, provide funding for youth service provision to organisati...More Button


 

 

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