Child Care Qualifications

Questions (219)

Robert Troy

Question:

219. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will examine opening up internships in the quality control area for childcare especially for those with a level 8 BA early childhood care and education degree or similar; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45457/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Child Abuse Issues

Questions (220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

220. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of reports to social work departments of which sexual abuse was a component in 2010, 2011, and 2012; the number that received therapeutic care from the Health Service Executive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45520/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

221. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason that while the Health Service Executive records 600 different metrics of childcare it does not record the number of children who disclose sexual abuse each year that receive therapeutic care from the HSE; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45521/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

222. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason the Health Service Executive does not separately record the numbers of children making disclosures of sexual abuse; her plans to rectify same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45522/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

223. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in the number of cases dealt with by social work departments where sexual abuse was a component, if those cases were assessed by a multi-disciplinary team; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45523/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

224. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in the number of cases dealt with by social work departments where sexual abuse was a component was it recommended that a parent not be allowed to make any further disclosures of abuse to the Health Service Executive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45524/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

225. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide in tabular form the number of cases dealt with by social work departments in 2010, 2011 and 2012 where sexual abuse was a component, if it was alleged that the child was being abused by a parent, by a relative, by a neighbour, by a teacher, or by any category of persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45525/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

226. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide in tabular form the number of cases dealt with by social work departments between 2005 and 2012 where sexual abuse was a component and a parent was the alleged abuser; if the Health Service Executive recommended that the parent be denied access to the child, be allowed supervised access or be allowed unsupervised access; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45526/13]

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Billy Kelleher

Question:

227. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in the number of cases dealt with by social work departments where sexual abuse was a component, if the Health Service Executive relied on the reports of psychologists not in the direct employment of the Health Service Executive when assessing those cases; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45527/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

What we are doing now is engaging in a modest expansion whereby people with other incomes of less than €3,174 will not be charged the additional amount of PRSI.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (228)

Seán Fleming

Question:

228. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the expenditure adjustment that will be made within her Department in 2014; the full-year impact of expenditure measures that will be taken in 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45581/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Estimate provision for my Department in 2014 will amount to €449 million which consists of €414 million in current expenditure and €35 million in capital expenditure. The allocation represents an increase in net expenditure of almost €15 million or 3% over the 2013 resource provision. This level of funding is especially significant when account is taken of the €9 million in savings which are built-in as a result of commitments made in the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure 2012 – 2014. These savings are being achieved, to the greatest extent possible, through increased operating efficiencies and value for money to protect front line services.

I consider that my Department`s Budget allocation for 2014 will enable the delivery of a significant level of public services, as well a number of new policy measures which include additional funding to support the programme of reform for child welfare and protection services that will be implemented by the new Child and Family Agency which is due to be established in January 2014; delivery of a Preschool Quality Agenda which seeks to support high standards through supporting the efforts of providers and their staff in delivering improved and more reliable quality; and to respond to concerns raised by parents; additional investment to address child poverty through the Area Based Childhood (ABC) programme - a joint initiative between my Department and Atlantic Philanthropies to improve outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities.

Water Quality Issues

Questions (229, 244)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

229. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Health the reason unlicensed industrial grade products like H2SiF6, hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is extremely toxic, are allowed, when such a product would not be sanctioned in drug form on the Irish market, where only pharmaceutical grade and licensed medicines are permitted for sale here and their intake strictly monitored as well as the dosage, which is not the case with artificial water fluoridation where intake is unknown and the dose in water is only used as a marker for levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45464/13]

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Dara Calleary

Question:

244. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health the reason unlicensed industrial grade products like (H2SiF6) hydrofluorosilicic acid is added to the public drinking water supply, when such a product would not be sanctioned in drug form on the Irish Market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45421/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 229 and 244 together.

Fluoride may be added to public water supplies either in the form of hydrofluosilicic acid complying with the specification for that substance in Schedule 1 to the Fluoridation of Water Supplies Regulations 2007 (S.I. 42 of 2007), or in such other form as may be approved by the Minister for Health. The fluoride used in Ireland is sourced as a primary product; it is mined directly from a raw material source, the mineral fluorospar as calcium fluoride (CaF2). It then goes through a purification process to conform to tightly controlled specifications under the requirements of CEN Standard I.S.EN 12175:2001 to produce Hydrofluosilicic Acid (HFSA), specifically used as the mineral additive, fluoride, to water.

The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) is the competent authority for the licensing of human and veterinary medicines and medical devices in Ireland. The IMB considers that neither drinking water itself nor the fluoride added to drinking water in the form of fluoride salts or silica fluoride, as defined in the Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act 1960, should be categorised as medicinal products requiring marketing authorisations. It considers that the fluoridation of drinking water should be seen as a measure consistent with general public health management. The principles for approval of use of HFSA in treatment of water intended for human consumption are no different to those relating to other chemicals used in drinking water treatment, such as disinfectants and coagulants. No water treatment chemical is intended for direct human consumption. The level of fluoride in drinking water in Ireland has been set at between 0.6-0.8 parts per million. This level of fluoride is deemed optimal for protecting the oral health of all age groups.

The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, established in 2004, continuously monitors new and emerging issues on fluoride and its effects. It advises that the balance of scientific evidence worldwide confirms that water fluoridation, at the optimal level, does not cause any ill effects and protects the oral health of the population. These views are supported by reputable international agencies and valid scientific articles and reviews. The effects of fluoridation on health and related matters are kept under constant review.