Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (332)

Pat Casey


332. Deputy Pat Casey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a social support worker has been assigned to the temporary direct provision centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44907/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, my Department, has a legal duty to protect the identities of persons in the international protection process and must be mindful of the right to privacy of applicants when responding to any specific queries.

As of 27 October 2019, there were 139 people residing in emergency accommodation in Co. Wicklow. This includes family units and single people seeking international protection.

As our existing 38 accommodation centres are currently operating at full capacity, my Department sought expressions of interest seeking bed and board in hotels and guesthouses on a 12-26 week basis for emergency temporary accommodation for international protection applications. Premises in County Wicklow were sourced on that basis. Our aim is to ensure that residents in emergency accommodation are re-accommodated in a dedicated accommodation centre as quickly as possible.

The International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS - formerly known as RIA) of my Department liaises with the relevant partner agencies such as the HSE, Tusla, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection regarding the local roll-out of required services to residents in all emergency accommodation locations. The HSE and Tusla, where applicable, continue to engage with any issues raised relating to health care provision such as access to GPs and access to social workers.