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Zappone, Katherine

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Youth Work Projects Funding

Was asked: the allocation of capital expenditure for youth work services in each of the years 2014 to 2018 in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the funds disbursed to and spent by youth work services under capital expenditure funding schemes in each of the years 2014 to 2017, and to date 2018, in tabular form.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 188 and 189 together.

  In recent years, capital funding has been made available to my Department to support youth projects in local communities....More Button

Youth Work Projects Administration

Was asked: the way in which the policy and priorities for capital expenditure for youth work services each year is determined; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has in place a Youth Capital Working Group. The Group comprises youth officers representing the sixteen Education and Training Boards and officials from my Department. This Group was...More Button

Youth Services Funding

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 270 to 272, inclusive, of 31 May 2017, the allocation of expenditure to the various youth work programmes and schemes in 2018 in tabular form.More Button

Budget 2018 provided an additional €1.5m in current funding to my Department to support the provision of these youth services. This will bring total current youth funding in 2018 to €58.9m. This ...More Button

Family Resource Centres

Was asked: the reason Dublin 12 was overlooked for the provision of a family resource centre (details supplied).More Button

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency is responsible for the administration of the Family Resource Centre Programme.More Button

Family Resource Centres are independent voluntary organisations that deliver universal services to families in local communities, based on a life-cycle approach. The centres seek to combat disadv...More Button

In Budget 2018, I secured an additional €3.0m for Tusla to support the Family Resource Centre Programme. The additional funding provided is being used to support existing Family Resource Centres...More Button

A high volume of applications were submitted to Tusla, who carried out an assessment process. One of these was from an organisation in the Dublin 12 area. Tusla was faced with a difficult decisi...More Button

Tusla has advised me that the quality of applications received was of a very high standard. The methodology and criteria considered in selecting the locations of the 11 new family resource centr...More Button

Tusla is acutely aware of the level of need in certain areas, and is actively working to improve outcomes for children and young people. Through its commissioning approach, Tusla plans to delive...More Button

It is important that the needs of children and families are met in the best way possible, particularly in areas of disadvantage. I will continue to support the work of Family Resource Centres and ...More Button

Was asked: the number of family resource centres; and her plans to roll out more centres.More Button

Family support is an important priority for me, and the increased level of funding for Family Resource Centres in 2018 reflects this.

  Family Resource Centres are front-line se...More Button

Child and Family Agency Funding

Was asked: if she is satisfied that Tusla is adequately resourced to deal with its workload in view of the recent introduction of mandatory reporting; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I was pleased to secure an additional €40.6 million for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, in 2018. This is the third year in succession that Tusla has received a significant increase in its fundi...More Button

I strongly support the work of Tusla, and I am committed to supporting the Agency in meeting the needs of all children and families. More Button

The extra resources secured for Tusla in 2018 will assist in meeting key priorities. The additional investment will allow Tusla to recruit a range of additional staff to respond to areas of iden...More Button

This increase in funding is also enabling the further management of unallocated cases. In addition, Tusla is in the process of recruiting more administrative staff to support social workers in t...More Button

In 2018, funding is also being used to establish a single national out-of-hours social work service, building on significant progress made in recent years in strengthening this service. The extr...More Button

I have requested Tusla to develop a robust workforce plan which addresses succession planning, retention, career pathways, training and development, future workforce needs, priority gaps and a st...More Button

I believe that the level of Exchequer funding of over €753m in 2018 provides Tusla with resources to significantly increase its capacity to respond to areas of identified risk and anticipated dem...More Button

The introduction of mandated reporting will no doubt bring challenges, but the resources to help Tusla deal with these challenges are in place. Tusla can, I believe, progress a number of key ser...More Button

Affordable Childcare Scheme Implementation

Was asked: the status of the implementation of the affordable childcare scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I thank the Deputy. I would be delighted to update her on positive progress my department is making in developing the new Affordable Childcare Scheme.More Button

Officials from my Department, along with colleagues in Pobal, have been working hard to develop the legal, technical and administrative infrastructure for the new Affordable Childcare Scheme. Th...More Button

As you know, the Childcare Support Bill passed all stages in the Dáil in the first quarter of this year. I was delighted with the positive, cross party support it received and want to thank ever...More Button

Intensive work is also ongoing on the drafting of supporting regulations for the scheme and on regulations to provide, for the first time, for the registration of school-age childcare providers. ...More Button

The IT infrastructure that supports the scheme is making good progress. In January I published a Request for Tenders for the development of a new IT system and an evaluation of tenders received ...More Button

Work is also progressing well on the administrative and communication elements of the scheme. Specialist expertise has been procured to support the detailed development of a robust governance fr...More Button

In tandem with the development of these resources, I am also committed to ongoing consultation and engagement with all stakeholders in the run-up to the introduction of the scheme. More Button

The Affordable Childcare Scheme is ambitious in scale and complex in its design but I am delighted that we are achieving our milestones in its development and confident of the lasting impact it w...More Button

In order to fast-track some of the benefits of the new scheme, last September I introduced a series of measures to make childcare more affordable for Irish families. I am delighted to report that...More Button

I have confirmed that these supports will remain in place until the Affordable Childcare Scheme goes live.More Button

Social Workers Recruitment

Was asked: her plans with regard to recruiting more social workers.More Button

I acknowledge that the recruitment and retention of social workers is one of the biggest challenges for Tusla, with only 200-250 graduating per year in a very competitive labour market. More Button

I am fully supportive of Tusla’s proactive approach to recruiting, supporting and retaining staff across all grades. In support of this I have provided for a significant increase in Tusla’s fund...More Button

Given the current limited availability of social work graduates, Tusla expects at least 45 of these staff to be additional social workers. There will also be proactive recruitment of grades such...More Button

To support Tusla’s ambitious recruitment targets it launched its 2018 graduate recruitment campaign last September. This campaign is currently open for applications with interviews expected to c...More Button

Tusla also has an on-going rolling campaign to attract existing social workers who have a particular interest in working in child protection. This campaign is also designed to appeal to social w...More Button

I have also asked Tusla to develop a Multi-annual Strategic Workforce Plan for 2019 and beyond to identify the future composition of Tusla’s workforce with regard to delivering on Tusla’s priorit...More Button

Early Childhood Care and Education Expenditure

Was asked: the full year cost of increasing the ECCE capitation grant by 10%; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme operates over a 38 week programme year from the beginning of September to the end of June. Currently, to deliver this programme, pre-school p...More Button

Community Childcare Subvention Programme

Was asked: the full year cost of increasing the affordable childcare subsidy for children under three years of age by €1 per hour; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am replying to the Deputy on the understanding that he is referring to the Community Childcare Subvention (Universal) Scheme (CCSU).

  In September 2017, as part of Government ...More Button