Beef Technology Adoption Programme Payments

Questions (174)

Michael Ring

Question:

174. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo received payment under the BTAP 2012 when they had not met the terms and conditions of the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51099/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Terms and Conditions of the 2012 Beef Technology Adoption Programme required participants to select two Tasks from the menu of eight Tasks with provision for participants to notify a subsequent change of a selected Task. The person named was initially found to be ineligible for payment under the 2012 Programme as it was established that he had failed to complete one of the two selected Tasks. However, upon review he was deemed eligible, as it transpired that he had satisfactorily completed a third Task. While the substitution of this third Task had not been notified to my Department beforehand, credit was allowed for its successful completion and, accordingly, payment under the 2012 Programme was made on that basis as all other requirements of the Programme were successfully completed.

Foreign Adoptions

Questions (175)

Michael Lowry

Question:

175. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will provide an assurance that the families seeking to adopt in Russia, who have been affected by the conflict in Irish and Russian law as a result of section 63 of the Adoption Act, will be provided for prior to the Christmas recess; if a response has been received from the Attorney General on this matter; if not, when a reply is expected; if she will bring forward legislation immediately to tackle this issue in view of the very short timeframe open to these families; if she will provide an update on progress to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50906/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Adoption Act, 2010, provides for adoptions from countries that have ratified the Hague Convention on adoption and from countries where there is a bilateral agreement in place. During the drafting of the Act a considered and detailed transitional process to deal with the change from previous legislation to the new Act was put in place. The transitional measure contained in Section 63 of the Adoption Act, 2010, allows those who held a valid declaration of eligibility and suitability to adopt before the commencement of the Act to continue with an adoption, from a non-Hague, non-bilateral country for a maximum period of three years. Such applicants were thus afforded an additional three year period to complete these particular adoptions from non-Hague countries, and must have completed the process by the 31st October 2013.

One particular concern that has coincided with the expiry of the transitional provisions provided for in Section 63 of the Adoption Act 2010, is the position of a small number of applicants who were at a late stage in adopting from Russia when changes to Russian legislation were enacted which meant that they were unable to complete the adoption of identified children before 31 October, 2013. It is my understanding that in order to adopt from Russia it is necessary to have a valid declaration of eligibility and suitability to adopt on the date of the court hearing to finalise the adoption, and for a specified period thereafter before the Court order takes effect. In order that these adoptions, which were stopped by this change in Russian law, could continue an amendment to the Adoption Act, 2010, would be necessary to extend the validity of the declarations of eligibility and suitability.

The advice of the Attorney General was sought and my Department is currently examining legislative options that might assist, possibly through the retrospective extension of the declarations of eligibility and suitability concerned. As the Adoption Act, 2010, is drafted on the basis of the incorporation of the Hague Convention, and the minimum set of standards outlined therein, the implications of amending the Act must be carefully examined before the Government is in a position to consider any proposed amendment of the legislation. My Department, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, is examining if it is possible to address this situation within the parameters of Irish law and our obligations under the Hague Convention. I have already met and spoken with some of those prospective adoptive parents affected by the changes in Russian legislation and have undertaken to keep them informed of any developments.

Gaisce Awards

Questions (176, 177)

Gerry Adams

Question:

176. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of young persons who have completed the Gaisce President's Award in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013. [51014/13]

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Gerry Adams

Question:

177. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of young persons from Northern Ireland who have completed the Gaisce President's Award in 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013. [51028/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 and 177 together.

The number of young people who have completed Gaisce - the President’s Award in each of the years 2011-2013 to date is set out in the table below.

As previously advised to the Deputy, an agreement is in place whereby young people in Northern Ireland, who wish to avail of Gaisce - the President’s Award may register with the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Northern Ireland for the Joint Award Programme but may choose, on completion of the programme, to have the Gaisce award presented.

Details of the number of young people in Northern Ireland who have requested to receive the Gaisce Award in each of the years are also included in the table.

-

2011

2012

2013- To date

Gaisce Completions

12,126

11,123

9,667

NI requests for Gaisce Certificate

247

230

155

Departmental Funding

Questions (178)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

178. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department will support financially and in other ways the strategic plan for the Artane School of Music 2013-16; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51041/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs supports the provision of a range of services for children and young people. An amount of €434m has been made available to my Department in 2013 for these services which include, for example, the free pre school year in the Early Childhood Care and Education and other childcare programmes, the family support services currently provided by the Family Support Agency, the School Completion Programme and supports to the youth sector for youth services throughout the country including those for young people who are in disadvantaged communities.

The activities of the Artane School of Music do not come within the scope of the funding schemes administered by my Department and appear to be more appropriate to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Child Care Services Provision

Questions (179)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

179. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 180 of 20 November 2013, the total number of children detained under special care orders outside of the State since January 2013; and if she will provide a breakdown on the basis of the number, age and gender of the children placed in each of the institutions referred to in her previous reply (details supplied). [51063/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The information sought by the Deputy will be forwarded to him this week.

Health Services Staff Recruitment

Questions (180)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

180. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 20 November 2013, when it is anticipated that the positions of principal social worker, two speech and language therapists and an addiction counsellor will be recruited for the assessment, consultation and therapy service. [51064/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Last week I was advised by the HSE that further recruitment would be necessary to fill the principal social work position, two speech and language therapists and an addiction counsellor. The HSE has advised that there is now just one vacancy for a speech and language therapist. Interviews for the post of addiction counsellor will be held in December 2013. The HSE is to revert to me with additional information on recruitment for the other two posts as soon as possible and I will arrange for this information to be forwarded to the Deputy when it is available.