Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (527)

Róisín Shortall


527. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will review the Health Service Executive's decision to discontinue financial support to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 13 in view of the fact that their current course has been restructured into a two-year course, and given the stated responsibility of the HSE in such instances to support such persons until the completion of their education; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30711/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The HSE National Aftercare Policy states that all young people in care are assessed for an aftercare service from 16 years onwards. The length of time an aftercare service is provided is dependent upon the assessed needs of the young person, but is generally provided for up to the age of 21 years or 23 years if the young person is in education.

I have been advised by the HSE that the young person referred to by the Deputy turned 21 in February 2013. She commenced a course in Applied Social Studies in September 2011 and will complete this programme later this month. She has received full financial support from the HSE during this two year period to support her educational course. All of her expenses have been covered including a deposit, rent, travel expenses, educational expenses, moving in allowance and clothing allowance. She has also received a living allowance of €188 per week.

The HSE has indicated that the young person in question is now requesting funding in order to commence another course which is not a follow on from the Fetac Level 5 she has just completed. This would bring the young person up to the age of 24 years, which is outside the scope of the HSE National Aftercare Policy. The HSE has advised me that the young person in question will continue to be advised on all her options to further her education.