Public Service Obligation Data

Questions (472)

Clare Daly

Question:

472. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of Bus Éireann operated public service obligation services which were operated by private operators on behalf of Bus Éireann without a ticket machine on board the vehicle by region in 2017 and to date in 2018; and the estimated loss of revenue as a result. [52128/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The issue raised is a matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Rural Transport Programme

Questions (473)

Clare Daly

Question:

473. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to provide grant aid to large public service operators to allow them purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles for Local Link contracts. [52129/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

Under the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has functional responsibility for promoting the development of an integrated, accessible public transport network.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have forwarded your question to the NTA for direct reply to you.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

Rural Transport Programme

Questions (474)

Clare Daly

Question:

474. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason Local Link service 977 was not openly tendered and was directly awarded to an operator that having acquired vehicles with dormant account funding would have an unfair competitive advantage over licensed road passenger transport operators. [52130/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. It also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which now operates under the Local Link brand.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

 

Vehicle Clamping

Questions (475)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

475. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of clamping appeals which have been received since the commencement of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 on 1 October 2017, in tabular form; the number of clamping appeals which have been successful, partially successful and unsuccessful to date, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52180/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 came into full effect on 1st October 2017 and gave the National Transport Authority (NTA) responsibility for the regulation of vehicle clamping activities in both statutory and non-statutory (privately owned) clamping places throughout the State.  Therefore I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Childcare Services Data

Questions (476, 478)

Joan Burton

Question:

476. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the average cost of childcare services for pre-school children nationally; the average cost of such services in Dublin city and county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51509/18]

View answer

Joan Burton

Question:

478. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the average cost of childcare services for pre-school children; and the average cost of such services in Dublin city and county. [51565/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 476 and 478 together.

The cost of childcare in Ireland is a major challenge for families in Ireland. In particular it is a challenge to mothers returning to work and single parent families. Due to decades of underinvestment, we have inherited one of the most expensive models of early learning and care in Europe. But this is changing.

Record numbers of families availed of Government subsidies to reduce this cost for families; including more than 40,000 children registered for the universal, non means tested subsidy of up to €1,040 per year whilst tens of thousands of families that needed it most received subsidies of up to €145 per week deducted from their childcare fees. This year the rise in cost charged for childcare was 2%, half of what was experienced the previous year.

In addition the number of children participating in the ECCE (free pre-school) scheme has doubled; whilst the scheme itself has lengthened to 76 weeks per child.

 Earlier this year the Oireachtas signed the Childcare Support Act; putting the entitlement to financial support for childcare on a legislative footing for the first time.

In 2019, we will launch the Affordable Childcare Scheme, a radical new approach to how families access financial support towards quality early learning and care.

It will take time to deliver the world class system of early learning and care that families deserve but I am confident that we are moving swiftly in the right direction to achieve this goal.

Table: Cost charged for childcare - County by County

County

Full day care

Part-time care

Sessional

Dublin – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

€233.26

€127.45

€86.26

Cork City

€206.67

€104.27

€68.68

Dublin – Fingal

€206.25

€115.23

€71.44

Dublin – South Dublin

€202.25

€116.92

€72.17

Wicklow

€200.21

€102.47

€71.77

Dublin – Dublin City

€195.79

€115.71

€71.90

Cork County

€192.37

€108.57

€71.06

Meath

€183.52

€100.68

€68.80

Kildare

€181.39

€113.42

€73.59

Kerry

€172.17

€90.24

€62.01

Louth

€172.12

€101.05

€68.69

Westmeath

€167.97

€90.50

€69.45

Donegal

€167.22

€100.98

€59.92

Wexford

€166.34

€97.30

€67.69

Laois

€164.46

€103.04

€66.85

Offaly

€162.00

€102.33

€68.01

Kilkenny

€159.87

€88.61

€66.46

Galway

€159.44

€96.29

€67.33

Limerick

€159.00

€90.12

€67.98

Clare

€157.72

€90.54

€67.50

Waterford

€157.24

€88.94

€61.55

Cavan

€156.94

€91.13

€63.21

Leitrim

€156.54

€75.00

€62.14

Mayo

€156.40

€85.04

€64.26

Tipperary

€155.08

€92.02

€67.33

Sligo

€153.48

€98.47

€74.11

Roscommon

€151.00

€85.55

€63.69

Carlow

€149.53

€84.29

€70.02

Monaghan

€147.97

€80.12

€64.35

Longford

€146.56

€88.68

€63.31

Total

€177.92

€101.82

€68.95

Legislative Programme

Question No. 478 answered with Question No. 476.

Questions (477)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

477. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016; when same will be enacted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51516/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As the Deputy is aware, I am committed to the early enactment of this legislation. I intend to bring the Bill back to the Seanad for Committee Stage in early January 2019. 

This important legislation will give adopted people, people who have been the subject of an illegal birth registration, birth parents and relevant guardians a statutory right to an information and tracing service.  It will also provide for the transfer of relevant records into the custody of the State. 

Question No. 478 answered with Question No. 476.

Early Childhood Care and Education

Questions (479)

Robert Troy

Question:

479. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if level 7 supports will be awarded to a playschool (details supplied) following an appeal to Pobal. [51740/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. AIM is a child-centred model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the pre-school setting the child is attending. AIM is administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. 

AIM Level 4 support is a targeted support that provides expert advice and mentoring for pre-school practitioners from a team of dedicated AIM Early Years Specialists. These staff are based in Better Start, the National Early Years Quality Development Service.

AIM Level 7 provides additional assistance in the pre-school room where this is critical to ensuring a child’s participation in the ECCE Programme. In line with emerging best practice to support the integration and independence of children with a disability, AIM does not fund Special Needs Assistants (SNAs). Rather, it provides financial support to the pre-school provider, which can be used either to reduce the adult to child ratio in the pre-school room or to buy in additional assistance to the pre-school room. Accordingly, Level 7 assistance is a shared resource for the pre-school setting.

The pre-school service referred to in the question has been granted AIM Level 4 and AIM Level 7 support in respect of children attending the service in the 2018/2019 ECCE year.

The pre-school service submitted a review request to Pobal in relation to the level of AIM support granted to a number of children attending the service on 29th November 2018. This review request was acknowledged on 3rd December 2018. Pobal has advised the applicant that a decision will be made within 25 working days of receipt of the review request.

Brexit Issues

Questions (480)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

480. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she has formally met with her UK counterpart to discuss Brexit and its impact on east-west trade reciprocal arrangements and all other Brexit related matters that fall within the remit of her Department; the number of times they have formally met to discuss Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51881/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The negotiations on both the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the framework for the EU-UK future relationship, both of which we were endorsed by the European Council on 25 November, were conducted on behalf of the EU27 by the EU's Chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the Commission's Article 50 Taskforce.

I have not formally met individually with my UK counterpart in relation to Brexit matters that fall within the remit of the Department. There was a bi-lateral meeting scheduled for the 26th November 2018 with my British counterpart to follow the formal meeting of EU Youth Ministers. However, this meeting did not take place as my UK counterpart did not attend the session.

My Department is represented on the Early Years Working Group of the British Irish Council (BIC), composed of representatives from the British Government, representatives from all UK devolved administrations and representatives from three Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey). Brexit has been discussed at meetings of the BIC Early Years Working Group in the context of our ongoing discussions about the Early Years sectors of each represented jurisdiction.

The Government has already taken a number of key decisions on measures to support East–West Trade. These include staffing, ICT and infrastructure measures to implement necessary checks and controls at our ports and airports.  To support businesses, the Government provided dedicated Brexit support measures in Budgets 2017, 2018 and 2019. Ireland is working closely with the EU and fellow Member States to discuss and to facilitate the use of the UK as a landbridge post Brexit.  

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (481)

John Lahart

Question:

481. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of women and men, respectively, employed in her Department and the agencies under the remit of her Department in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52049/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

On 6 December 2018, the number of women and men employed in my Department and the agencies under its remit were as follows:

 

Female

Male

Total

DCYA

164

115

279

Adoption Authority of Ireland

19

9

28

Oberstown Detention Campus

129

130

259

Ombudsman for Children's Office

14

7

21

Tusla

3534

742

4276

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (482)

John Lahart

Question:

482. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the various grades in which males and females are employed in her Department and the agencies under the remit of her Department in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52066/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The information sought by the Deputy, as at 5 December 2018, is set out in tabular format.

DCYA

 

 

 

Grade

Female

Male

Total

Secretary General

0

1

1

Assistant Secretary

2

1

3

Director

1

0

1

Special Advisor

1

1

2

Principal Officer

12

13

25

Assistant Principal Officer

37

21

58

Higher Executive Officer

24

18

42

Administrative Officer

14

14

28

Executive Officer

43

22

65

Clerical Officer

30

19

49

Service Officer

0

3

3

Civilian Driver

0

2

2

Total

164

115

279

ADOPTION AUTHORITY OF IRELAND

 

 

 

Grade

Female

Male

Total

Chief Executive Officer

1

0

1

Principal Officer

1

0

1

Assistant Principal Officer

1

0

1

Higher Executive Officer

3

1

4

Administrative Officer

0

1

1

Executive Officer

4

3

7

Clerical Officer

2

3

5

Temporary Clerical Officer

1

1

2

Principal Social Worker

1

0

1

Senior Social Work Practitioner

2

0

2

Professionally Qualified Social Worker

3

0

3

Total

19

9

28

OBERSTOWN DETENTION CAMPUS

 

 

 

Grade

Female

Male

Total

Residential Social Care Worker

56

63

119

Night Supervisory Officer

14

37

51

General Operative/Household

20

9

29

Unit Manager

12

6

18

Administrator

18

0

18

Senior Management

4

5

9

Chef

2

3

5

Maintenance

0

4

4

Clinical Nurse Manager

2

1

3

IT Projects Leader

0

1

1

Researcher

1

0

1

Supplies Officer

1

0

1

Total

130

129

259

OMBUDSMAN FOR CHILDREN'S OFFICE

 

 

 

Grade

Female

Male

Total

Ombudsman

0

1

1

PO

1

0

1

AP

3

3

6

HEO

0

2

2

EO

8

1

9

AO

1

0

1

CO

1

0

1

Total

14

7

21

TUSLA

 

 

 

Grade

Female

Male

Total

Social Work

1358

223

1581

Social Care

1020

269

1289

Psychologists & Counsellors

23

7

30

Other Support Staff inc Catering

45

20

65

Other Health Professionals

61

8

69

Nursing

49

1

50

Management VIII+

110

71

181

Family Support

163

14

177

Education Welfare Officers

72

29

101

Admin Grades

633

100

733

Total

3534

742

4276

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (483)

John Lahart

Question:

483. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the ratio of males to females employed in her Department and the agencies under the remit of her Department in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52083/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

As at 6 December 2018, the ratios of males to females employed in my Department, and the agencies under its remit, are set out in the following table. 

Body

Ratio of male to female

DCYA

1 :  1.42

Adoption Authority of Ireland

1 :  2.1

Oberstown Detention Campus

1 :  1

Ombudsman for Children’s Office

1 :  2

Tusla

1 :  4.76

Children in Care

Questions (484)

Denis Naughten

Question:

484. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of unaccompanied minors claiming asylum who have been taken into the care of the State in each year since 2009 and to date in 2018; the number reported missing in each year; the number who have been relocated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52138/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Separated children seeking asylum are defined as “children under eighteen years of age who are outside their country of origin, who have applied for asylum and are separated from their parents or their legal/customary care giver”. All children and young people in this service have an allocated Social Worker. All young people and young adults in the service who are entitled to Aftercare services have an allocated Aftercare Worker.

Table 1 sets out the total number of referrals to the Tusla Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team and the number of those children taken into care, from 2009-2017 and to date in 2018.

Table 1.

Year

Total Referrals to Tusla Separated Children Seeking Asylum Team

Children Placed in Care

2009

203

126

2010

96

70

2011

99

66

2012

71

48

2013

120

62

2014

97

86

2015

109

82

2016

126

82

2017

175

111

2018 to date

111

63

Table 2 sets out the number of missing unaccompanied minors and the number of minors relocated/found. A child is deemed to be missing according to his or her individualised absence management plan. Going missing from care can include missing a curfew, or an unscheduled absence from a care placement, and does not always mean that a child has disappeared or run away. It is important to note that one child could be reported missing more than once. There should be no inference made about whether these children made applications for international protection or not. Some children went missing before they were interviewed by a social worker.

Table 2.

Year

Number of children reported missing

Number of children found

2009

50

12

2010

13

9

2011

8

2

2012

5

3

2013

5

3

2014

3

2

2015

10

5

2016

9

4

2017

8

5

2018 to date

10

4

Aftercare Services

Questions (485, 486, 487, 488)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

485. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of young persons who left State care in each of the years 2015 to 2017. [52163/18]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

486. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the criteria for a young person to qualify for the aftercare allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52164/18]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

487. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of young persons in receipt of the aftercare allowance. [52165/18]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

488. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of young persons who applied for the aftercare allowance; and the number who were successful with their application in each of the years 2015 to 2017, in tabular form. [52166/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 485 to 488, inclusive, together.

Aftercare services build on and support the work that has already been undertaken by many, including foster carers, social workers and residential workers, in preparing young people for adulthood. Therefore the provision of aftercare services should not be seen as an event, but something that builds on the skills and capacity that young people have learned and developed during their time in care.

Tusla has undertaken an extensive review of policy as it relates to Aftercare Service Provision and developed a suite of policies and guidance documents to support the delivery of aftercare services.

Legislative provision for aftercare has been strengthened by the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2015, which imposed a statutory duty on Tusla to prepare an aftercare plan for an eligible child or eligible young person, following an assessment of need. The Act created an explicit statement of Tusla’s duty to satisfy itself as to the child’s or young person’s need for assistance by preparing a plan that identifies those needs for aftercare supports. An eligible child for the purpose of this statutory entitlement is any child who has spent 12 months in the care of the State in the 5 years between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, while an eligible adult is any young person aged 18, 19 or 20 who has spent at least 12 months in the care of the State between the ages of 13 and 18 years. Specific legislative provision is in place for aftercare to continue until a young person is 23 years of age where they are finishing a course of education.

Aftercare encompasses a range of services, which can include direct financial support in the form of the aftercare allowance. The purpose of the allowance is to cover the day to day costs associated in supporting a young person as they progress in education or accredited training.

To qualify for an aftercare allowance at 18 years of age an eligible adult must be attending an accredited education course or training programme as outlined in their aftercare plan, and agree to engage with aftercare service requirements and provide updates on their progress.

Tusla does not collect the number of young people who seek or receive an aftercare allowance for the purpose of supporting them in education/accredited training. Tusla does however maintain records of those who are in education/accredited training. All young adults who are in accredited training/education are entitled to financial support for this purpose .

At the end of September 2018, there were 1,257 young persons in aftercare in education/accredited training.

It should be noted that aftercare is a service for adults, and their engagement with Tusla in relation to aftercare is purely on a voluntary basis. Tusla has no power to oblige a young person to avail of the support offered.

The number of young people who have left the care of Tusla upon reaching 18 years of age in each of the years 2015 to 2017 is set out in tabular form.

2015

2016

2017 (provisional data awaiting validation)

Young persons who left State care (i.e., those discharged on reaching 18 years)

470

490

503*

Youth Services Funding

Questions (489)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

489. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans for the additional €1.5 million allocated to her Department in budget 2019 for youth services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52167/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department has commenced a process to identify service development needs for 2019 and to finalise the 2019 youth funding allocations. The primary purpose of this process is to ensure that youth services are sufficiently resourced to meet the needs of young people and particularly those who are at risk of drugs or alcohol misuse, early school leaving, homelessness or who are living in disadvantaged communities.

In this regard, officials within my Department are currently awaiting the return of completed funding renewal applications on behalf of youth projects throughout the country which are due to be submitted by 21 December 2018.  On receipt of these completed renewal applications, my Department will be in a position to finalise the funding allocation which will be provided for each youth project in 2019, having regard to the overall budgetary position.  Every effort will be made to complete this process as soon as possible and notify all youth services of their allocation at the earliest possible date.

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

Questions (490)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

490. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development further to Parliamentary Question No. 851 of 10 July 2018, the status of the pilot scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51515/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

The pilot scheme to encourage people to return to living in town centres was launched on 11th October 2018. 

A Steering Group, chaired by my Department, was established earlier this year to examine the issue, and a lot of consideration was given by the Group to the best approach to developing a model which would deliver on the objective of increasing town centre living.

The Steering Group noted that some schemes which have specifically attempted to focus on the renovation of vacant properties have had a disappointing take-up. It is clear that if we are to successfully encourage people to return to living in town centres, an integrated solution involving all aspects of town living and supporting infrastructure, needs to be considered.

The Steering Group therefore agreed that a pilot scheme, which takes a holistic approach to town centre living, should be developed in a small number of towns initially, with a view to a wider roll-out over time. This approach, which I approved, will allow a number of Local Authorities to develop and test different models which they feel are appropriate to a small number of selected towns of different sizes and in different locations. The learnings from this approach will help to provide an indication as to what might work well for similar types of town on a wider scale.

Six rural towns were invited to participate in the initial pilot scheme.  They are: 

1. Boyle, Co Roscommon

2. Callan, Co Kilkenny

3. Ballinrobe, Co Mayo

4. Banagher, Co Offaly

5. Castleblayney, Co Monaghan

6. Cappoquin, Co Waterford.

Each of these towns will receive funding of up to €100,000 to engage with their communities and local businesses, and arrive at practical solutions that can be delivered to achieve the objective of increasing the number of people living in our rural towns.

Representatives from each of the six Local Authorities involved in the pilot recently met with my Department to begin the process of developing the detailed schemes.  It is envisaged that the solutions identified through the six pilot towns will lead to the development of more substantive proposals for funding from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund in due course.