Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (607)

Holly Cairns

Question:

607. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth further to Parliamentary Question No. 171 of 10 September 2020, how he reacted effectively to issues raised in relation to services provided across the justice sector under a hashtag (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38521/20]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I understand that the Parliamentary Question referred to by the Deputy was asked of the Minister for Justice and Equality and related to the monitoring of social media for criticism of Direct Provision and Government policy.

I can inform the Deputy that my Department does not engage in such monitoring activities.

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for Government contains a commitment to ending the Direct Provision system and replacing it with a new International Protection accommodation policy, centred on a not-for-profit approach. I am also committed to the development of the White Paper promised by the Government, which will set out how the new system will be structured and the steps to achieving it. Such a complete overhaul of the system will however take time.

In the meantime I am taking action to introduce immediate reforms to the system including engaging with HIQA to undertake a role of monitoring the services provided to those accommodated in our centres against National Standards that were published in 2019. This monitoring will begin from January 2021. My Department is also working to introduce formal vulnerability assessments on a phased basis from December 2020?.