Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions (258)

Darragh O'Brien


258. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of home school community liaison and school completion staff working with homeless families in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49361/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Tusla Educational Support Service has advised that Tess have advised the HSCL Scheme and SCP projects provide supports for homeless children and families as the need arises in their cluster schools.

There are 420 Home School Community Liaison Coordinators (HSCL) serving over 500 schools and 122 School Completion Programmes (SCP) serving over 700 schools. All HSCL and SCP staff are available to assist families experiencing homelessness. All HSCL and SCP staff are aware of the need to provide supports to families experiencing homelessness and we know that a significant number are currently providing such support.

Along with colleagues in Tusla and across government I recognise that Homelessness is a hugely significant issue facing vulnerable families across the country and it can have an adverse impact on children and their educational attendance, participation and completion. My Department recognises that homelessness is a very fluid issue, emerging quickly and requiring a range of supports from the school, HSCL, SCP and other related services and in this regard I have secured and additional €500,000 in Budget 2019 and a further €400,000 in Budget 2020 to ensure that the needs of vulnerable children in relation to educational attainment are met.