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Homeless Accommodation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 30 June 2020

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Questions (908, 909)

Chris Andrews

Question:

908. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he is satisfied with the running and performance of private homeless hostels in view of evidence to show that some private homeless hostels do not Garda vet some staff, in view of the fact that legislation stipulates that persons working with children or vulnerable adults must be Garda vetted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13695/20]

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Chris Andrews

Question:

909. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the hiring of staff for privately run homeless hostels without Garda vetting is an issue to which his attention has been drawn; the measures he plans to put in place that will prohibit such practices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13697/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 908 and 909 together.

Supporting individuals and families experiencing homelessness is a priority for this Government. My Department's role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities. 

A National Quality Standards Framework has been developed to ensure a consistent approach in how local authorities and service providers respond to the needs of those experiencing homelessness and to improve the quality of services provided to individuals, families and their children who are accessing emergency accommodation.

The Framework includes the provision that service providers must ensure that staff recruitment and selection procedures comply with statutory vetting requirements. The Framework has been fully operational across the Dublin region since February 2019.  All local authorities were requested to fully implement the Framework over a 12-month period, commencing from 1 July 2019.  

Arising out of a commitment made in Rebuilding Ireland, a specific course on child protection was developed in partnership between the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) and Tusla. The DRHE has been providing child protection training to Private Emergency Accommodation staff, which covers their legal responsibilities under child protection legislation. Child protection booklets have been distributed to operators of private emergency accommodation.

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