Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (173)

Thomas P. Broughan


173. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has contacted the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs to request that the educational welfare service of Tusla be extended to non-DEIS schools in counties in which the homeless crisis is most acute; the supports being provided to non-DEIS schools with homeless pupils; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26052/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy in the first instance that Tusla's Educational Welfare Service, which operates under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, and is under the remit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is available to all schools and not just those which are DEIS schools.

In schools participating in my Department’s DEIS initiative (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), the Educational Welfare Services of TUSLA have responsibility for operational management of two school-based support services - the Home School Community Liaison Scheme and the School Completion Programme.

In terms of my own Department, the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) supports schools in dealing with children with identified additional educational needs, including needs which may arise for children who are experiencing homelessness.

Identification of Need and Early Intervention Strategies are considered key components to supporting children who experience homelessness. The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) works with schools through the DES Continuum of Support framework. The NEPS Model of Service works through a problem solving and solution oriented consultative approach to support schools to meet the needs of individual pupils.

NEPS psychologists can provide advice and guidance to Principals and teachers in relation to individual students needs and in the development of whole school approaches to support inclusion, participation and integration.

In addition the Department of Employment and Social Protection runs the School Meals Programme which provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,580 schools and organisations benefitting 250,000 children.