Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (226)

Róisín Shortall


226. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of whole-time equivalent education welfare officers employed by the education welfare officer; the location of each; the child population served in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41358/18]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Educational Welfare Service of Tusla has advised my Department that it currently employs 88 Educational Welfare Officers (EWOs) throughout the country. The 88 EWOs are divided into 11 teams spread across 4 separate regions across the country, each of which is managed by a Senior Educational Welfare Officer (SEWO). These regions are the South, the West and Midlands, South Dublin and North Dublin. Referrals from schools, parents and other agencies are received by Educational Welfare Services.

The most recent school enrolment figures from September 2017 show 912,683 students enrolled in schools throughout the country. This equates to an average of 10,371 students per Educational Welfare Officer. Referrals are allocated to Educational Welfare Officers by the Senior Educational Welfare Officer on a team basis and areas where most referrals are received are given priority. Educational Welfare Officers can be assigned cases from regions outside their own on occasions where an increase in referrals means that the existing resource within the region is not sufficient to meet that demand.