Child and Family Agency Funding

Questions (1180)

Clare Daly

Question:

1180. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 312 of 13 March 2019, if the cost on an annual basis of placing a child in private residential care is €312,000; and the proportion of this that is spent on caring for the child rather than on profits, dividends and so on. [13183/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The purchase of residential placements from private providers is an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I am referring the Deputy's question to Tusla for direct reply.

Childcare Services Funding

Question No. 1182 answered with Question No. 1170.

Questions (1181)

John Brassil

Question:

1181. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if a childcare centre (details supplied) in County Kerry will be permitted to apply for strand A capital funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13217/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Assisting childcare providers in extending their existing childcare services, or establishing new childcare services, have always been key areas of focus for my Department's capital programmes.

Each year the Department reviews the capital programmes as a whole and determines the priorities for Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital grants.

The capital strands have been made available to achieve the strategic priorities for 2019 as determined by the Department, having regard to the funding available, developed using analysis of the current state of the childcare sector, learnings from previous capital programmes and feedback and input from stakeholders, including childcare providers and Pobal.

The capital programmes have been significantly oversubscribed in recent years, with demand for funding far outstripping the available budget. Unfortunately, this means that many services that submit high quality applications ultimately do not receive an offer of funding because the budget is not there to facilitate this.

As a means to address this, the 2019 Early Learning and Care and School Age Capital applicant guidelines, released on 31 January 2019, introduced a rule that clearly states that early learning and care services who have received funding under the equivalent strand of EY Capital (i.e. Creation of New EY Places) between 2016 and 2018, are not eligible to apply under Strand A (Creation of new places for 0-3 year olds) in 2019.

The introduction of this rule enables the distribution of capital funding around as wide a range of services as possible over a four-year cycle.

In the interest of fairness and equity, this rule must apply to all services without exception.

The service in question is not eligible to apply for funding this year under Early Years Capital 2019 - Strand A, as they received funding in the equivalent strand in 2016. This funding was made available to providers in order to facilitate an increase in childcare places from September 2016.

However, there is no rule precluding this service from applying under Strands B and C in 2019. I hope they are satisfied that the two other streams of funding under the 2019 Capital schemes are still open to them.

I remain committed to assisting all childcare providers, both community and private, in providing world-class childcare and meeting demand for childcare places, and I anticipate that this year's Capital programme will build on last year's good work in the sector, as well as that of previous years.

Question No. 1182 answered with Question No. 1170.

Childcare Services Funding

Questions (1183)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1183. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the capital funding provided to childcare providers by county in tabular form. [13271/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The below table provided by Pobal gives an overview of total Early Years and School Age Capital spend divided by county over the past three years.

Total Early Years and School Age Capital funding by county (2016-2018)

County

2016

2017

2018

Grand Total

Carlow

305,199.43

191,333.04

106,461.86

602,994.33

Cavan

137,495.35

232,293.99

238,421.14

608,210.48

Clare

162,174.94

467,179.68

292,854.54

922,209.16

Cork

624,340.36

782,546.31

521,735.52

1,928,622.19

Donegal

734,906.38

414,898.74

426,622.13

1,576,427.25

Dublin

1,740,485.62

1,692,774.85

1,103,765.11

4,537,025.58

Galway

601,136.69

819,252.78

374,747.28

1,795,136.75

Kerry

238,313.96

420,847.79

259,671.24

918,832.99

Kildare

236,965.82

169,341.23

266,191.23

672,498.28

Kilkenny

174,621.23

214,087.98

219,159.81

607,869.02

Laois

91,514.41

149,503.32

88,100.95

329,118.68

Leitrim

96,852.23

167,829.53

82,082.16

346,763.92

Limerick

293,996.73

529,222.60

199,625.34

1,022,844.67

Longford

102,604.54

300,500.57

91,739.59

494,844.70

Louth

159,799.96

414,184.38

79,839.54

653,823.88

Mayo

582,121.56

375,291.80

122,269.43

1,079,682.79

Meath

247,276.82

567,125.42

322,124.52

1,136,526.76

Monaghan

133,730.92

266,374.11

241,452.48

641,557.51

Offaly

176,844.41

218,383.00

60,111.43

455,338.84

Roscommon

152,603.76

381,982.13

157,334.80

691,920.69

Sligo

77,111.95

236,648.68

155,831.52

469,592.15

Tipperary

220,344.83

480,003.40

170,410.67

870,758.90

Waterford

115,278.31

277,191.92

99,297.59

491,767.82

Westmeath

175,560.85

317,879.26

202,803.67

696,243.78

Wexford

286,612.84

361,046.85

338,292.35

985,952.04

Wicklow

210,526.81

356,025.91

244,227.78

810,780.50

Grand Total

8,078,420.71

10,803,749.27

6,465,173.68

25,347,343.66

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (1184)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1184. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children on a waiting list for an ECCE place by county. [13272/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department records the breakdown of childcare waiting lists by age cohort rather than by programme. In 2017/18, services reported a total of 173,197 children enrolled in early years services and 9,420 vacant places across Ireland. The table below presents the number of children enrolled and on a waiting list that are approximately within the ECCE eligible age range, as well as the number of vacant places by age cohort. Pre-school children (those aged 3+ to 5 years) represent the largest cohort of children attending childcare services, accounting for 59% of all children enrolled.

Age range

Enrolled

Vacant places

Waiting list

2 years+ to 3 years

18,049

1,232

2,977

3 years+ to 4 years

54,837

2,905

3,927

4 years+ to 5 years

47,454

1,639

1,698

5 years+ to 6 years

14,183

1,196

648

The table below details the breakdown of children enrolled, on a waiting list and the number of vacant places.

County

Enrolled

Vacant places

Carlow

2,057

68

Cavan

3,120

104

Clare

4,280

383

Cork City

4,246

295

Cork County

14,662

1,032

Donegal

6,575

882

Dublin – Dublin City

16,075

581

Dublin – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

6,357

224

Dublin – Fingal

11,149

450

Dublin – South Dublin

9,294

373

Galway

10,514

620

Kerry

5,625

186

Kildare

8,045

304

Kilkenny

3,944

195

Laois

3,695

298

Leitrim

1,437

74

Limerick

7,805

278

Longford

1,685

59

Louth

4,297

197

Mayo

4,509

331

Meath

6,996

355

Monaghan

3,623

190

Offaly

2,697

225

Roscommon

2,311

98

Sligo

3,144

88

Tipperary

6,662

437

Waterford

4,612

203

Westmeath

3,781

385

Wexford

5,724

281

Wicklow

4,276

224

Total

173,197

9,420

The following revised table was received on 16 May 2019

County

Enrolled

Waiting list

Vacant places

Carlow

2,057

260

68

Cavan

3,120

249

104

Clare

4,280

192

383

Cork City

4,246

510

295

Cork County

14,662

869

1,032

Donegal

6,575

477

882

Dublin – Dublin City

16,075

3,492

581

Dublin – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

6,357

880

224

Dublin – Fingal

11,149

1,076

450

Dublin – South Dublin

9,294

639

373

Galway

10,514

571

620

Kerry

5,625

269

186

Kildare

8,045

350

304

Kilkenny

3,944

414

195

Laois

3,695

43

298

Leitrim

1,437

63

74

Limerick

7,805

865

278

Longford

1,685

168

59

Louth

4,297

238

197

Mayo

4,509

421

331

Meath

6,996

396

355

Monaghan

3,623

147

190

Offaly

2,697

123

225

Roscommon

2,311

172

98

Sligo

3,144

185

88

Tipperary

6,662

372

437

Waterford

4,612

274

203

Westmeath

3,781

316

385

Wexford

5,724

296

281

Wicklow

4,276

231

224

Total

173,197

14,558

9,420

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (1185)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1185. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of ECCE places by county, in tabular form. [13273/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department records the breakdown of childcare places by age cohort rather than by programme. In 2017/18, services reported a total of 173,197 children enrolled in early years services and 9,420 vacant places across Ireland. The table below presents the number of children enrolled and on a waiting list that are approximately within the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) eligible age range, as well as the number of vacant places by age cohort. Pre-school children (those aged 3+ to 5 years) represent the largest cohort of children attending childcare services, accounting for 59% of all children enrolled across all age groups.

Age range

Enrolled

Vacant places

Waiting list

2 years+ to 3 years

18,049

1,232

2,977

3 years+ to 4 years

54,837

2,905

3,927

4 years+ to 5 years

47,454

1,639

1,698

5 years+ to 6 years

14,183

1,196

648

The below table represents the number of ECCE registrations by county for the current programme year 2018-19.

County Division

Registrations

Cork City

2,415

County Carlow

1,267

County Cavan

1,883

County Clare

2,454

County Cork

10,539

County Donegal

3,220

County Galway

4,528

County Kerry

2,900

County Kildare

5,823

County Kilkenny

2,108

County Laois

2,137

County Leitrim

688

County Limerick

3,466

County Longford

802

County Louth

2,868

County Mayo

2,775

County Meath

5,308

County Monaghan

1,251

County Offaly

1,809

County Roscommon

1,360

County Sligo

1,323

County Tipperary

695

County Waterford

1,489

County Westmeath

2,232

County Wexford

3,528

County Wicklow

3,489

Dublin City

8,737

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

4,380

Fingal

7,652

Galway City

1,288

Limerick City

804

North Tipperary

1,177

South Dublin

6,179

South Tipperary

1,598

Waterford City

963

Grand Total

105,135

Area Based Childhood Programme

Questions (1186)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1186. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to each ABC centre in 2018; and the amount budgeted for 2019, in tabular form.; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13274/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Area Based Childhood (ABC) Programme is a prevention and early intervention initiative targeting investment in effective services to improve the outcomes for children and families living in a number of specific areas of disadvantage.

It was originally designed as a time-bound, co-funding arrangement, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) in conjunction with The Atlantic Philanthropies (Atlantic), with a joint funding allocation of €29.7m (2013-2017) . As of 31st December 2018 €38.7m has been invested jointly by the co-funders to the ABC Programme (€14.9m from Atlantic and €23.8m from DCYA).

In September 2018, the ABC Programme transitioned to Tusla as part of the national Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Programme (PPFS).

The figures below represent the total net grant funding paid to the ABC areas by Pobal and Tusla from January 1st to December 31st 2018, and the agreed full year budgets for 2019. While final 2019 budgets have yet to be agreed with one of the ABC areas, payments continue to be made, on the basis of confirmed expenditure in previous years.

ABC Centre

2018 Funding Provided

2019 Agreed Budget

Youngballymun

620,259

565,575

Northside Partnership PFL

1,032,411

1,074,766

Clondalkin Blueskies Initiative

425,627

489,073

ABC Start Right Limerick

838,522

862,683

Family Matters, Ballyfermot

429,476

521,691

Barnardos, Better Finglas

489,537

554,934

Genesis Programme, Louth

624,059

643,331

NCI, Dublin Docklands

670,769

796,100

Young Knocknaheeny

601,299

770,238

SPECS, Bray

308,839

374,566

Tallaght West, CDI

1,183,572

1,487,694

DIT , Grangegorman

739,559

To Be Confirmed

Total

7,963,929

8,140,651

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (1187)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1187. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of AIM grants provided to each county since 2015, by AIM level and year, in tabular form. [13275/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), which was launched in June 2016, is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. Its goal is to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that every eligible child can meaningfully participate in the ECCE programme and reap the benefits of quality early years care and education.

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 in the context of the pre-school setting they are attending. AIM is administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Applications for grants or funding may fall under Levels 1, 5 or 7 of AIM.

AIM Level 1 recognises that a strong culture of inclusion must be fostered and embedded to support all children’s maximum participation in the ECCE programme. This includes the new higher education programme in Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC), established in 2016 with provision for 900 students annually for four years. Pre-school settings employing an Inclusion Coordinator (who has graduated from LINC and has agreed to take on the role of Inclusion Coordinator (INCO) in the pre-school setting) will receive an increase of €2 per child per week in the rate of ECCE capitation payable to that setting.

AIM Level 5 provides for access to specialised equipment, appliances, assistive technology and/or minor alterations capital grants for early years’ settings to ensure children with a disability can participate in the ECCE programme. A short report from a designated professional is required confirming that the specialised equipment or minor building alterations are necessary.

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 table shows data provided by Pobal regarding the number of grants approved under AIM Levels 1, 5 and 7 by county since AIM was launched.

County

AIM Level 1 - INCO capitation

AIM Level 5 (Minor Alterations Capital Grants only)

AIM Level 7

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2017/2018

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2018/2019 (to date)

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2016/2017

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2017/2018

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2018/2019 (to date)

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2016/2018

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2017/2018

No. of Applications approved ECCE 2018/2019 (to date)

Carlow

10

23

14

41

58

Cavan

4

22

2

2

30

53

62

Clare

29

39

6

5

67

97

105

Cork

102

151

1

11

10

200

452

544

Donegal

48

50

6

3

5

76

119

129

Dublin

113

241

2

3

3

226

634

855

Galway

34

85

1

2

1

79

156

167

Kerry

49

52

2

5

1

61

122

136

Kildare

41

68

1

70

134

152

Kilkenny

15

28

1

25

51

60

Laois

16

25

2

2

36

73

81

Leitrim

6

8

2

1

5

19

19

Limerick

62

68

3

2

82

149

204

Longford

5

13

15

14

20

Louth

13

31

1

34

100

158

Mayo

24

42

1

2

23

84

99

Meath

28

63

1

3

33

136

197

Monaghan

13

15

20

28

36

Offaly

10

18

1

25

68

80

Roscommon

19

22

2

1

13

37

41

Sligo

13

20

1

12

29

43

Tipperary

24

58

1

3

1

56

120

154

Waterford

19

27

1

2

33

54

87

Westmeath

15

26

1

20

46

66

Wexford

24

51

1

1

2

57

123

133

Wicklow

12

38

1

20

70

78

Grand Total

748

1284

27

42

43

1332

3009

3764

Note on Level 1 data: There were no Inclusion Coordinators (INCOs) working in the early years sector in the 2016/2017 ECCE year as students from the first intake onto LINC became eligible to work as INCOs following their graduation in autumn 2017, i.e. in the 2017/2018 ECCE year.

Note on Level 5 data: The Level 5 data in the table relates only to capital grants for minor alterations, as this is the only element of Level 5 that involves the provision of grants. The Level 5 data in the table does not include equipment or appliances, as support in such cases involves direct provision of the equipment or appliance, with no grant payment involved.

Finally, City and County Childcare Committees (CCCs) receive annual funding from DCYA (via Pobal) in respect of the work they carry out to support the implementation of AIM. This work includes promoting AIM to parents and pre-school providers and assisting them with applications for targeted AIM supports, and rolling out of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion training to pre-school practitioners (another initiative under AIM Level 1). Each county in the country has a Childcare Committee (Cork has 2 and Dublin has 4). Each of the 30 CCCs has received an annual grant since 2016 to support AIM implementation.

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions (1188, 1189, 1191, 1192)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1188. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of applications that have been made under the AIM programme implementation platform that have not been processed. [13276/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1189. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the average waiting time for an application to be processed through the AIM programme implementation platform. [13277/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1191. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children awaiting assessment by an early years specialist either through an on-site visit or otherwise in order to avail of AIM supports in tabular form. [13279/19]

View answer

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1192. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the average and maximum waiting time for a child to be assessed by an early years specialist in order to avail of AIM supports. [13280/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1188, 1189, 1191 and 1192 together.

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), which was launched in June 2016, is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. Its goal is to empower pre-school providers to deliver an inclusive pre-school experience, ensuring that every eligible child can meaningfully participate in the ECCE programme and reap the benefits of quality early years care and education.

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 in the context of the pre-school setting they are attending. AIM is administered by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and applications are processed through Pobal’s Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP). Applications for support may fall under Levels 1, 4, 5 or 7 of AIM.

AIM Level 1 recognises that a strong culture of inclusion must be fostered and embedded to support all children’s maximum participation in the ECCE programme. This includes the new higher education programme in Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC), established in 2016 with provision for 900 students annually for four years. Pre-school settings employing an Inclusion Coordinator (who has graduated from LINC and has agreed to take on the role of Inclusion Coordinator (INCO) in the pre-school setting) will receive an increase of €2 per child per week in the rate of ECCE capitation payable to that setting.

AIM Level 4 provides access to mentoring for pre-school practitioners from a team of dedicated AIM Early Years Specialists. To avail of this support, pre-school providers, in cooperation with parents, are requested to complete an online Access and Inclusion Profile. This looks at the strengths, abilities and needs of the child, as well as the strengths and needs of the pre-school setting.

AIM Level 5 provides for access to specialised equipment, appliances, assistive technology and/or minor alterations capital grants for early years’ settings to ensure children with a disability can participate in the ECCE programme. A short report from a designated professional is required confirming that the specialised equipment or minor building alterations are necessary.

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. To avail of this support, pre-school providers, in partnership with parents, complete an online Access and Inclusion Profile, including the Level 7 service request.

Pobal has provided the following information regarding the number of AIM applications being processed and the average waiting time for an application to be processed on PIP as at 14th March 2019:

AIM Level

Number of applications in process as at 14th March 2019

Average waiting time for an application to be processed on PIP as at 14th March 2019

AIM Level 1 – INCO capitation

94

16 working days

AIM Level 4

146

10 working days

AIM Level 5

22

5 working days

AIM Level 7

203

31 working days

AIM Early Years Specialists carry out observation visits, rather than assessments, on children. They observe the child in the context of their pre-school, using the Access and Inclusion Profile. This information is then used to determine the type of support the pre-school can access under the model, to support the child’s meaningful participation in the ECCE programme. Pobal has advised that, as at 21st March 2019, 73 children were awaiting an observation visit.

The average waiting time for a child to receive an observation visit from an AIM Early Years Specialist is influenced by when the application is submitted. Pobal has advised that requests for AIM Level 7 that are made at the same time as an AIM Level 4 application have an average waiting time of 9 working days. Requests for AIM Level 7 that are made following an AIM Level 4 support visit or telephone call have an average waiting time of 17 working days. Similarly, the timing of when the application is submitted will affect the maximum waiting time for a child to receive an observation visit from an AIM Early Years Specialist. Pobal has advised that they have recorded maximum waiting times of 140 working days (concurrent AIM Level 4 and Level 7 application) and 169 working days (consecutive AIM Level 4 and Level 7 application). However it should be noted that, in both of these cases, the AIM applications were submitted in the spring before the children started in their pre-school that September. The pre-schools and parents involved in these cases were keen to be prepared in advance of the children starting in pre-school.

Early Childhood Care and Education Data

Questions Nos. 1191 and 1192 answered with Question No. 1188.

Questions (1190)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

1190. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of LINC workers by county, in tabular form. [13278/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The Leadership for Inclusion in the Early Years (LINC) higher education programme is a Level 6 Special Purpose Award designed to support the inclusion of children with a disability in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. It is a key initiative under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) for pre-school children.

Pre-school settings employing an Inclusion Coordinator (who has graduated from LINC and has agreed to take on the role of Inclusion Coordinator (INCO) in the pre-school setting) will receive an increase of €2 per child per week in the rate of ECCE capitation payable to that setting.

The table below sets out the number of Inclusion Coordinators in each county as at 14th March 2019:

County

Number of services in receipt of INCO capitation as at 14th March 2019

Carlow

23

Cavan

22

Clare

39

Cork

151

Donegal

50

Dublin

239

Galway

84

Kerry

52

Kildare

68

Kilkenny

28

Laois

25

Leitrim

7

Limerick

68

Longford

13

Louth

31

Mayo

42

Meath

63

Monaghan

15

Offaly

17

Roscommon

22

Sligo

20

Tipperary

58

Waterford

26

Westmeath

26

Wexford

51

Wicklow

38

Total

1,278

Questions Nos. 1191 and 1192 answered with Question No. 1188.

Children in Care

Questions (1193)

Clare Daly

Question:

1193. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children placed in residential care abroad in each year since 2011, by country of placement. [13287/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I wish to advise the Deputy that prior to the establishment of Tusla in 2014 responsibility for children in care lay with the Health Services Executive. Data relating to children in care prior to that date is held by the HSE.

Children are placed outside of Ireland in exceptional circumstances where a specific service that they require is not available in Ireland, for example, specialist child or adolescent mental health care.

For all such placements, procedures under Brussels II regulations are followed and children remain subject to district or other court review. Social workers allocated to the children continue to monitor their placements and are responsible for creating and monitoring their care plans and making all arrangements for their return home and visits for family and other parties.

The table below lays out the number of children placed in residential care overseas, from 2014 to end January 2019, the most recent date for which information is available.

Table: Number and location of out of state placements 2014- end January 2019

Year

Total number of children in out-of-state Residential Care

Country

Up to the end of January 2019

8

UK

2018

10

UK

2017

9

UK

2016

12

UK

2015

14

UK

2014

15

UK

Domestic Violence Refuges Provision

Questions (1194)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1194. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the counties that do not have emergency refuge accommodation for victims of domestic violence and their children, in tabular form. [13288/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has responsibility for the provision of funding, co-ordination and support to 21 organisations which provide emergency refuge and emergency non-refuge accommodation to victims of domestic violence and their children. In addition to this, Tusla maintains a domestic violence refuge in South Dublin, which has been temporarily closed for essential refurbishment works. This facility is expected to re-open as a domestic violence refuge in Quarter 2 this year. In total, 155 family units of emergency accommodation are provided - 145 in emergency domestic violence refuges and 10 in emergency non-refuge accommodation.

Subject to availability of accommodation, women from counties without emergency accommodation may avail of accommodation in other parts of the country.

The table below sets out the counties which currently do not have emergency domestic violence refuge accommodation.

-

County

1

Carlow

2

Leitrim

3

Roscommon

4

Sligo

5

Cavan

6

Monaghan

7

Offaly

8

Laois

9

Longford

Domestic Violence Refuges Provision

Questions (1195)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1195. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of adult emergency refuge accommodation beds available for victims of domestic violence. [13289/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has responsibility for the provision of funding, co-ordination and support to 21 organisations which provide emergency refuge and emergency non-refuge accommodation to victims of domestic violence and their children. In addition to this, Tusla maintains a domestic violence refuge in South Dublin, which has been temporarily closed for essential refurbishment works. This facility is expected to re-open as a domestic violence refuge in Quarter 2 this year. In total, 155 family units of emergency accommodation are provided - 145 in emergency domestic violence refuges and 10 in emergency non-refuge accommodation.

A family unit in emergency accommodation is generally used to accommodate a single family, i.e. one woman and her accompanying children and dependent adults. Services may reconfigure room arrangements to suit the number, age and gender of family members. At times, two unaccompanied women may be asked to share a family unit.

It is important that the needs of victims of domestic violence are met in the best way possible, with due attention to the quality, accessibility, and outcome of services. I am committed to supporting Tusla in meeting the needs of individuals who experience domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Refuges Provision

Questions (1196)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1196. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of child emergency refuge accommodation beds available for victims of domestic violence. [13290/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence.

Tusla-funded organisations provide a total of 155 family units of emergency domestic violence accommodation to victims of domestic violence. Tusla funds the provision of 145 spaces in emergency refuge accommodation and 10 in emergency non-refuge accommodation. Rathmines Women's Refuge, which houses nine accommodation units, has been temporarily closed and is due to reopen as a domestic violence refuge in Quarter 2, 2019.

The 155 family units nationally vary in size from single bedded units accommodating a woman without children to units which are able to accommodate up to eight people. The average size of a family unit is 4 bedded. A number of factors must be considered in relation to the total national bed capacity to accommodate children as:

- children are not accommodated in emergency domestic violence family units unless they are accompanied by an adult victim,

- in most cases a family unit will be used to accommodate a single family. However, two unaccompanied women may on occasion be asked to share a two-bedded unit,

- units may on occasion operate over capacity to facilitate a particular family size,

- units may be flexible in terms of bed capacity and may have a sofa bed or be able to accommodate a temporary bed or a child’s cot when required,

- services may reconfigure room arrangements to suit the number, age and gender of families members who present.

- the number of children in a family, on a particular occasion, in a particular location may not always align with the number of beds in an available unit.

It is important that the needs of victims of domestic violence are met in the best way possible, with due attention to the quality, accessibility, and outcome of services. I am committed to supporting Tusla in meeting the needs of individuals who experience domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Refuges Provision

Questions (1197)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1197. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to introduce the necessary legislative or other measures to provide for the setting up of appropriate, easily accessible domestic violence refuge accommodation in sufficient numbers to provide safe accommodation for and to reach out proactively to victims, especially women and their children, as committed to when ratifying the Istanbul Convention. [13291/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the provision of care and protection to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

I am pleased that Ireland ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) on the 8 March, 2019 - International Women's Day.

Since taking up office, in 2016, as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I have prioritised the development of Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (DSGBV) services. This has been reflected in the level of additional funding provided to Tusla for these services which has increased from €22.1 million in 2017 to €25.3 million in 2019.

Additional funding in 2019 will support the development of enhanced domestic, sexual and gender based violence services, including continued implementation of the Istanbul Convention and the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2016 – 2021). I will be meeting with some key stakeholders and Tusla in early April to consider priorities for 2019 funding.

As part of its planning to develop services, Tusla has commenced the process to review domestic violence refuge accommodation provision to meet its obligations under the Istanbul Convention.

Tusla has advised that it has commenced a review of emergency domestic violence accommodation in the Dublin area, which will be completed by Quarter 4, 2019. I expect Tusla to publish the report in due course.

Tusla will continue to work with service providers throughout the country in the provision of resources to victims of domestic violence, including emergency refuge accommodation, non-refuge accommodation, and community supports.

Foster Care Data

Questions (1198)

Clare Daly

Question:

1198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if children are ever placed in foster care abroad rather than locally; and if so, the number of children placed abroad in each year since 2011, by country of placement. [13349/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I am advised by Tusla the Child and Family Agency, that the number of children placed in foster care, and living abroad, represents a very small proportion of all children in foster care. At the end of December 2018, the most recent date for which data is available, a total of 5,556 children were in foster care.

A child may be in foster care overseas when the child is placed by Tusla with relatives who reside outside of the jurisdiction. Alternatively, foster carers/relative carers, who have a child placed with them, may, due to personal circumstances decide to move from the jurisdiction. In this situation Tusla would determine whether it was in the best interests of the child to remain with their carers.

The table below lays out the number of children in foster care abroad, by year. Prior to the establishment of Tusla in 2014, the responsibility for foster care lay with the Health Services Executive. Tusla data is collated from its point of establishment onwards.

Table: Number and location of overseas foster care placements 2014-2019

Year

No. of children in foster care overseas

Countries

2019

13

UK, Finland, Spain

2018

13

UK, Finland, Spain

2017

12

UK, Spain

2016

12

UK, Spain

2015

11

UK, Spain

2014

7

UK, Spain

Adoption Data

Questions (1199)

Clare Daly

Question:

1199. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if children are ever placed by the Adoption Authority of Ireland in adoptive families abroad; and if so, the circumstances in which this occurs. [13350/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

The question the Deputy has raised is a matter for the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI). Therefore I have asked the AAI to respond to the Deputy directly on this.

Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

Questions (1200)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

1200. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has refused to provide persons with a copy of their testimony to the commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13374/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

In accordance with section 9 of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, it is essential to recognise that the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is independent in the performance of its functions. The engagement with witnesses is a matter for the Commission and I do not have any role or information in this regard. These operational considerations are managed directly by the independent Commission. The Deputy may wish to contact the Commission directly to explore this matter further.

The legislative framework requires that evidence is given in private to facilitate fact finding while also protecting the rights of all individuals and groups to fair procedure. The Commission may hear all or part of the evidence of a witness in public if it is satisfied that it is in the interests of both the investigation and fair procedures to do so, or where the Commission agrees to the request of a witness to provide all or part of his or her evidence in public.

The Confidential Committee module of the Commission of Investigation provides an opportunity for persons who were formerly resident in the homes or who worked in these institutions, to provide personal accounts of their experiences in confidence and in private, as informally as is possible in the circumstances.

It is open to those who have given testimony at the Confidential Committee to contact the Commission to make arrangements to view the transcripts or listen to recordings of the testimony they have provided, if they so wish.

I want to acknowledge the courage it takes to provide testimony on such personal experiences, and the crucial importance of this information in informing the Commission’s work.