Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (828)

Catherine Murphy


828. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the steps taken to ascertain the level of LGBT youth homelessness; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23349/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

While my colleague, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, has primary responsibility for reducing and ultimately eliminating homelessness, I am committed to helping children and families experiencing homelessness as part of a whole-of-Government response to this problem.

As the Deputy will be aware, children and families experiencing homelessness are supported by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Tusla do not gather data on sexual orientation or gender identity in this context. 

The LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy was published in June 2018.  It is intended to provide specific additional measures to support the lives of LGBTI+ young people. Goal One of the Strategy aims to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for LGBTI+ young people. Under this Goal a funding scheme for service providers, including some homeless services was available immediately following publication of the Strategy. The measure was intended to improve their understanding of, and ability to engage with, LGBTI+ young people.  

In 2018 Focus Ireland received capacity grant funding from DCYA to implement evidence based LGBTI+ training for its staff working with young LGBTI+ people.  It had a particular focus on supporting those who identify as trans.

Goal Three of the Strategy aims to better understand the lives of young LGBTI+ people to ensure evidence informed policy making into the future. Earlier this year my Department commissioned a landscape analysis of existing research and data as relevant to Irish LGBTI+ youth. The results of this research will be published in due course.

Our response to homelessness overall is a test of our compassion as a society. We need to eliminate child and family homelessness. While we work towards this we must provide the assistance necessary to help these children and families live in a way that goes some way to addressing the challenges of the situation.