Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (385)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

385. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth when a redress scheme for survivors of mother and baby homes will be put in place; the steps his Department will take; the position regarding the overall strategic action plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2891/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Commission has made clear recommendations in relation to redress on the basis of its extensive 5-year investigation. Notably, the Commission identifies three specific groups for whom it recommends redress might be considered.

The Government has made a very significant and early commitment to accept these recommendations and design a bespoke Restorative Recognition Scheme. An Inter-Departmental Group (IDG), to be led by my Department, will now commence the detailed work to scope the terms and conditions for the scheme. My Secretary General will Chair the IDG and nominations are being sought from relevant departments and agencies. The IDG will examine the three specific groups identified by the Commission, but is not restricted to these.

My Department will lead work on the development of a Strategic Action Plan to advance each of the 22 commitments made by Government in its response to the Commission's report.

It is intended that the scheme will be designed as quickly as possible in 2021. The IDG is tasked with reporting by the end of April to enable specific proposals to be brought to Government.

With regard to the overall Action Plan, the Government has committed to developing a comprehensive Action Plan spanning 22 measures across a number of themes, as follows:

- A survivor-centred approach

- Apology

- Access to Personal Information

- Archiving and Databases

- Education and Research

- Memorialisation

- Restorative Recognition

Clearly, this is a hugely important process for all connected to these institutions. For this reason, I am committed to a survivor-centred approach and I will be working with colleagues and survivors to advance these matters as a priority.