Child and Family Agency Funding

Ceisteanna (567)

John Curran

Ceist:

567. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to a funding application made by an organisation (details supplied) to Tusla for capital funding; the status of the application; the timeframe for a decision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency provides funding to a range of family support services throughout the country that provide services and supports to vulnerable children and families.

The allocation of funding to services is an operation matter for Tusla.

I have requested Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to the application made by the service in question.

Early Childhood Care and Education Funding

Ceisteanna (568)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

568. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason the €22,000 withheld from a preschool (details supplied) in respect of a November 2018 compliance audit has not issued in spite of the paperwork having been submitted; the position regarding its application for €20,000 from the sustainability programme; and if other preschools can avail of the school meals programme, the reason it has been refused. [51811/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Assisting families to access high quality, affordable early learning and care and school age childcare is a priority for me as Minister and hence I take all questions and concerns raised by services very seriously.

My Department funds a number of early learning and care and school age childcare programmes. Given the large amount of public money that is used in funding these programmes, there needs to be an appropriate level of oversight and accountability. My Department believes that our approach to compliance and supporting services strikes a necessary and appropriate balance. Our approach involves setting out the rules for the receipt of State funding, supporting providers to deliver services, and at the same time, the approach offers assurances to the taxpayer that the funding assigned is being spent as it was intended. Subsidies for the early learning and care and school age childcare programmes are paid based on attendance, a vital governance component of the funding for which my Department is responsible.

Part of Pobal’s role in overseeing compliance is to carry out unannounced visits to services to check their compliance with programme rules. Where Pobal discovers that the actual attendance does not match registrations on PIP (Pobal’s IT system), the service will be advised by Pobal to make the necessary corrections to ensure that the total amount of funding received for the programme year is correct. There is an appropriate amount of flexibility applied to this corrections process and Pobal works with services on a case by case basis. However, the recovery of overclaimed funds is an integral part of ensuring that public money is properly accounted for.

The service in question received an unannounced compliance visit from Pobal in October 2018. During this visit, discrepancies between attendance of children and registrations on PIP were identified. The service subsequently made the necessary corrections. This led to the funding to the service being adjusted to ensure that total payments for the year were correct. As funding is based on attendance, the Department cannot restore funding which was provided on the basis of registrations which did not match actual attendance.

The local Childcare Committee (CCC) and Pobal Case Management have been engaging with the service in question since March 2019 regarding their sustainability issues. During this time, an Operational Review was carried out in July and a projected cash flow for the 2019/2020 programme year in October was completed. In November 2019, Pobal submitted to the Department a formal Sustainability funding request to address the financial issues raised as a result of the Overclaim identified in the 2018 Compliance visit. The Department approved this request on 6th December 2019 and the Service will receive the funding upon signing of the Grant Agreement and all pre-contractual conditions being met.

Pobal and the local CCC will continue to monitor and engage with the service in order to address any other outstanding sustainability and compliance issues. If the service requires further details, I would encourage them to get in contact with their local CCC.

As part of Budget 2020, I have secured funding to pilot a meals programme in Early Learning and Care settings – delivering on a commitment in First 5.

The pilot will run in a sample of community, not-for-profit Early Learning and Care settings. It will focus on the ECCE Programme and will operate for the full duration of the 2020/2021 programme year (i.e. 38 weeks from September to June). A range of meals options will be piloted, including a hot meals option. Rates for meals will be based on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s School Meals Programme.

My Department has begun work on establishing a Working Group to oversee the development and roll-out of the pilot. As mentioned, the pilot will run in a sample of community and not-for-profit ELC settings which have not yet been decided on. We will endeavour to be fair and impartial in the selection of setting but, in this regard, must be informed by the evaluator and working group in that the sample may need to include settings of various sizes and in various locations to be feasible. No decision has yet been made on how the settings will be selected.

Following the conclusion of the pilot and the subsequent evaluation of results, consideration will be given to extending this meals programme to a larger number of Early Learning and Care settings and on a more a permanent basis.

The school meals programme is not a matter for my Department.

Bullying of Children

Ceisteanna (569)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

569. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which provision is being made to combat bullying outside of school among teenagers; the extent to which bodies under her aegis of interact with school authorities in order to take early action; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51829/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

All of society should be concerned with child welfare and protection and it is important that concerns are dealt with as and where they arise. The primary responsibility for protecting children rests with their parents but parents are supported in this role by a range of service providers, state agencies, schools and professionals working with children and young people.

Where bullying in schools is concerned, in the first instance, the school authorities are responsible for dealing with such bullying. School management boards must have a code of behaviour and an anti-bullying policy in place. In cases of serious instances of bullying where the behaviour is regarded as possibly abusive, a referral to Tusla and/ or An Garda Síochána may need to be made.

The Children First Act 2015, which was fully commenced in December 2017, provides for a number of key child protection measures, including introducing mandatory reporting of child protection concerns by certain key professionals and requiring organisations providing relevant services to children to develop a Child Safeguarding Statement.

Under the Act, mandated persons are required to report child protection concerns at or above a defined threshold to Tusla. Mandated persons are people who have contact with children and/or families and who, because of their qualifications, training or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm. The list of mandated persons includes teachers.

The Act also places an obligation on providers of services to children to keep children safe from harm while availing of their services, to carry out a risk assessment and to prepare a Child Safeguarding Statement outlining the policies and procedures in place to manage any risks identified. The relevant services to children that attract an obligation to produce a Child Safeguarding Statement includes schools and centres of education.

There is a range of services available which can assist children and young people in coping with bullying situations for example:

www.webwise.ie - An initiative of the Department of Education and Skills – provides information on a range of internet safety issues and concerns and offers advice and support for young people, teachers and parents.

www.tacklebullying.ie - a national website to counter bullying and cyberbullying for young people, parents and teachers.

At a national and community level, youth organisations and voluntary youth services funded by my Department provide education programmes, run awareness campaigns about bullying and provide programmes for young people to give them the knowledge and skills to build supportive links and counter bullying behaviours. Specifically, my Department supports the National Youth Health Programme which is in partnership with the HSE and the National Youth Council of Ireland. The programme’s aims are to provide a broad-based, flexible health promotion / education support and training service to youth organisations and to all those working with young people in out-of school settings, and includes programmes aimed at exploring bullying and cyberbullying with young people.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (570)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

570. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the degree to which she remains satisfied that the budget of her Department remains sufficient to meet the challenges of the future in terms of the provision of children and youth support facilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51830/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of children and youth support facilities to young people throughout the country.

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the gross amount of funding being made available to my Department for 2020 is €1.60 billion which represents an increase of 5% over its allocation for 2019. The allocation includes a current provision of €1.57 billion and a capital allocation of €31 million.

Almost half of the total funding, or €817 million, is targeted at public services within Tusla to protect children and to provide for their welfare. A further €628 million will help us to continue to develop an accessible, affordable and high quality childcare system.

I am satisfied that the significant additional resources secured for 2020 will enable my Department and its agencies build on the good work achieved to date. The extra funding continues this Government’s commitment to provide high quality services for children and young people.

Children in Care

Ceisteanna (571)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

571. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children placed in safe residential care, including foster care, in each of the past three years to date in 2019; the degree to which this has been sufficient to meet the demand; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51831/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that a direct response be provided to the Deputy.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Child Protection

Ceisteanna (572, 575)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

572. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which she, through her Department, has positively intervened to support families or children deemed to be at risk in each of the past two years to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51832/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

575. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of cases of children thought to be the victims of abuse of a physical, emotional or sexual nature brought to the attention of her Department in each of the past two years to date in 2019; the extent to which the issues were satisfactorily addressed in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51837/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 572 and 575 together.

I thank the Deputy for his question.

Tusla, The Child and Family Agency, is the dedicated State agency responsible for improving well-being and outcomes for children. Tusla’s primary objective is to perform the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services.

All child protection and welfare concerns reported to my Department are referred directly to Tusla for their appropriate attention. Cases of neglect or risk are managed in line with Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children. HIQA, in their inspections of Tusla child protection services, verify that Tusla act appropriately in cases where it becomes known that a child is at immediate risk. The reports also provide evidence of very dedicated professionals, working in a challenging environment.

Children who appear to be in a situation of immediate risk may also have involvement with both An Garda Síochána and Tusla. These agencies work together in some cases. Tusla, when alerted to a child at immediate risk, such as a young child left alone at home or abandoned, will contact AGS if the child needs to be removed from that situation.

Tusla provides me with data on referrals, children in care, their placement type, care status and allocation of social workers. This information provides statistical evidence of improvements to child welfare and protection services and highlights challenges and areas where further improvement is required. This data is published by Tusla both on a monthly and quarterly basis. In September 2019, the most recent date for which figures are available, Tusla received 4,903 child protection and welfare referrals. Of these, 858 were mandated reports, which constituted 17% of the total referrals received.

In addition Tusla has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV). This includes, but is not limited to, violence experienced in the family home.

Tusla provides funding to 59 organisations nationwide that provide front-line services to individuals and families. This includes funding for emergency accommodation for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence; specialist counselling; advice and court accompaniment services; childcare for children affected by domestic violence; specialist programmes for children affected by domestic violence; and front-line sexual violence services to adults and young people.

Additional funding of €1.5 million was provided to DSGBV services in 2019. This includes funding for 12 additional outreach workers for women and children affected by domestic violence in identified areas of need, the national roll out of a healing programme for children who have been impacted by domestic abuse, and the opening of a new domestic violence refuge in South Dublin.

Both Tusla and my Department are committed to overcoming the significant issues faced by families affected by domestic and sexual violence, which is experienced by all sectors of society. Tusla continues to work with stakeholders in streamlining and enhancing front line service provision to assist victims in the most effective and efficient way.

Children in Care

Ceisteanna (573)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

573. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which she has access to safe and secure placement for children at risk; if this is sufficient to meet the demand; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51833/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Once a child has been received into care, by way of a voluntary agreement or a court order, the most crucial task for the social worker is to find a placement that matches that child's needs. Ideally this is with foster carers in the communities in which they live.

Social workers recruit foster carers on an ongoing basis and Tusla places over 91% of children in care in foster placements.

Tusla has access to foster carers who provide emergency placements out of working hours where children stay for a short period while an assessment is made regarding their need to be received into care.

A small minority of foster placements, circa 8%, are provided by private companies and these are in the main where the foster carers need significant support due to the needs of the child placed with them. Tusla approves all foster care applicants recruited by private companies.

Where a suitable placement cannot be found in foster care a child may be placed in a children’s residential services. The aim of such a placement is to provide a physically, emotionally and psychologically safe space for children to develop and move forward in their lives.

Where a child's behaviour is deemed a serious risk to themselves, Tusla may apply to the High Court for a place in a special care. Special care is a secure care placement (i.e. detention in a secure facility) for children with highly complex behavioural and emotional needs that cannot be met in foster or general residential care. Special care is intended as a short-term secure care placement in a therapeutic environment with the intention of returning the child to a community or family-based setting as soon as possible.

Special care is used to address the risk of harm that may be caused to a child’s life, health, safety, development or welfare by their behaviour.

Child Protection

Question No. 575 answered with Question No. 572.

Ceisteanna (574)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

574. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children currently in need of and receiving protection from the State through her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51836/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that a direct response be provided to the Deputy.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Question No. 575 answered with Question No. 572.

Child Abuse Prevention

Ceisteanna (576)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

576. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the steps taken by her Department to provide an early alert system in cases of suspected child abuse; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51839/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency is the statutory agency with primary responsibility for child protection in the State. In situations where abuse is suspected, there is a clear responsibility to report concerns to Tusla.

In December 2017 I introduced the final provisions of Children First, which placed a legal obligation on key professionals working with children to report concerns of abuse.

Tusla has a Child Protection Notification System (CPNS), a list of children living at home, who are deemed to be at current risk, and who are subjected to child protection case conferences and structured interventions. Information about referrals, and all actions taken in relation to cases, is stored on the National Child Care Information System (NCCIS), which can enable a pattern of concerns and incidents to be identified. This can be a useful piece of information to support decisions made by social workers.

Tusla have advised that the National Out of Hours Social Work Service was established in Dec 2018 and is organised into an out of hours direct intervention service for Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow where social workers are available on call and to attend to children directly, including arranging placements, out of hours including weekends and bank holidays and an emergency out of hours on-call social work phone support and placement service for the rest of the country

All child protection concerns out of office hours are now triaged through the National Out of Hours Service based in Dublin for advice and guidance. If the need for a placement is identified the service can source a foster care or residential placement.

In exceptional circumstances outside the Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow area, where the support of a local on call social worker is required, this can be organised through the national out of hours service. Access by AGS and Emergency Doctors to the National Child Protection Notification System (CPNS) register is provided on a 24/7 basis.

Tusla also operates the national mandated line for reporting of child abuse and welfare concern out of hours. In addition a 24/7 phone line is now available to foster carers.

When a child cannot be cared for safely at home, they are either received into care on a voluntary basis or Tusla apply to the courts for a care order. Tusla act immediately on notification of an immediate risk to a child. Children who are in a situation of immediate risk may initially be dealt with by An Garda Síochána or by Tusla, but in the main both agencies work together in such cases.

Gardaí have specific powers under Section 12 of the Child Care Act to remove a child from a situation of danger, and under Section 13 of to deliver that child into the custody of Tusla. At that point, Tusla will carry out an assessment to determine the child's needs. In all cases, a plan will be put in place to ensure that the child is safe from harm.

Childcare Services Provision

Ceisteanna (577)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

577. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the degree to which she remains satisfied regarding the availability of community child support services, including the provision of support for afterschool activities through youth clubs and similar bodies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51840/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department continues to invest significant resources in the childcare sector generally. Over the last five Budgets (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) investment in childcare has increased by 137% which reflects the emphasis being placed on improving access to affordable, high quality services.

This increased investment includes funding of the After School Childcare (ASCC) scheme. ASCC is designed to support parents on eligible training courses, as well as certain categories of parents returning to work, by providing subsidised childcare places for eligible children between 4 and 13 years of age.

Under the National Childcare Scheme which opened for online applications on 20th November 2019, school-age childcare services who are registered with Tusla are able to avail of subsidies under the new scheme. As Tusla-registration is a requirement, The Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) (Registration of School Age Services) Regulations 2018, announced in December 2017, came into force on 18th February, 2019. These Regulations enable school-age childcare services to register with Tusla and participate in the National Childcare Scheme.These initial Regulations are limited in scope and intent, providing primarily for the registration process, and they will need to be replaced at the earliest opportunity by comprehensive Regulations, which are expected to address wider aspects of quality, including qualification requirements for staff. Earlier this year I launched a public consultation process on Standards and comprehensive Regulations for school-age childcare. This consultation process was launched in Mid-May with an open call for submissions and an online survey. In addition, a focus group session with school-age services and an Open Policy Debate were held in June.

There has been little change in the proportion of childcare provision that is community-based. According to the Pobal annual sector profile, which is carried out on my Department's behalf, in 2013 approximately 26% of childcare services were community services. The latest data indicates that the proportion in 2018 is approximately 24%.

The annual survey suggests that supply of childcare places currently broadly matches demand. My Department is committed to keeping capacity in the sector under review. Staff from City and County Childcare Committees are available across the country to assist parents who may have difficulty in meeting their childcare needs.

The Programme for a Partnership Government included a number of commitments to strengthen supports for school-age childcare. My Department chaired a group with the Department of Education and Skills to progress those commitments in a coherent way and to align relevant bodies of work under our respective areas of responsibility. The result of this work, the Action Plan for School Age Childcare, was published in 2017.

The Action Plan sets out a strategic direction and comprehensive action plan for school age childcare in Ireland, focusing on the 3-year period 2017-2020. It aims to strengthen the quality, access and affordability of School Age Childcare.

The Department of Education and Skills has published guidelines to assist school authorities on how their premises might be utilised for school-age childcare and other activities where it can be facilitated by the school patron/trustees.

My Department has also provided a programme of capital grants, uptake of which has been very high. In 2019, there were 118 applications with a value of €2,200,000 approved for the creation of 2,308 new School Age places under the school-age capital grant scheme.

While youth groups may choose to provide school-age childcare or other services, to date evidence of this is limited. Youth clubs funded by my Department under the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme must be volunteer-led. While some staff-led targeted youth services are co-located with pre-schools and/or after-schools, the youth funding is not in any way linked to the operation of these services.

Juvenile Offenders

Ceisteanna (578)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

578. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which she maintains dialogue with the Prison Service with a view to providing appropriate support for first-time offender juveniles on their release from prison; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51841/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Deputy refers to the Irish Prison Service which is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice. There are no children detained in prison in Ireland.

The Irish Youth Justice Service in my Department, has responsibility for the governance and oversight of Oberstown Children Detention Campus. Oberstown provides places for children who are sentenced or remanded by the Courts. Oberstown runs the CEHOP Model of Care for children in detention. A core pillar of this model is Preparation for Release which aims to assist the child and their caregivers to experience positive outcomes and successful reintegration into the community on release.

In July 2019, I received Government approval for a proposal to strengthen sentencing options for children. Work is underway on drafting heads of a bill to ensure that community-based alternatives to detention can continue when a child turns 18, and that there is an increased focus, at the sentencing stage, on reintegration into the community post-release. The key principles of the Children Act 2001 include detention as a last resort and re-integration into the community post-release, which must be the focus when sentencing children. Continuing this approach where a child transitions to adulthood while serving a sentence, or under a community sanction, reflects the distinct needs of young offenders and is better for society.

Community Services Programme

Ceisteanna (579)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

579. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the review of the community social programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51255/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I presume the Deputy is referring to the Community Services Programme.

The Community Services Programme, or CSP, supports around 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model, with funding provided as a contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions. Almost €47 million will be available to support community organisations under the programme in 2020.

Indecon Consultants, who are carrying out an independent review of the CSP, are currently finalising their report which I expect to receive in the coming weeks. This will help inform my decisions on the future shape and structure of the programme. I will be examining the recommendations in the report, early in the new year, with a view to beginning the process of making any necessary changes during 2020.

Pending the revision of the Programme, I announced last week that I will be providing €1m under the CSP Support Fund in 2020 to those organisations which are struggling financially.

Childcare Services Funding

Ceisteanna (580)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

580. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of funding for a childcare facility (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51097/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I can confirm that an application was submitted by the organization in question under the Small Capital Grants Scheme for Social Enterprises which I launched in September.

The scheme, which is administered by the Local Development Companies on behalf of my Department, will provide grants of between €2,000 and €15,000 for equipment, repairs or refurbishments to enable social enterprises to improve their service delivery.

My Department received an overwhelming response to this call for funding, which was heavily over-subscribed.

On 9 December, I announced the allocation of €1 million in funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund to 124 social enterprise projects across the country under the scheme. The organization referred to by the Deputy was not successful in securing funding on this occasion.

Given the level of the budget available for this pilot scheme, it was not possible to fund more applicants this year, but I will review the possibility of making further allocations in 2020.

A full list of the successful social enterprises, including the grant amounts awarded under the Small Capital Grants Scheme, is available at www.gov.ie/en/collection/a99ff0-small-capital-grants-for-social-enterprises/.

Recreational Facilities

Ceisteanna (581)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

581. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the steps he has taken to maintain a commitment given to compensate landowners for losses in scheme payments, for example, GLAS, as a consequence of a portion of land been given over to a greenway, cycleway or walkway project; when such a scheme will come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51145/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Responsibility for payments to agricultural landowners under schemes such as GLAS is a matter for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

My Department is responsible for a range of interventions in the outdoor recreation sector, including through investment in the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and the ongoing payment of landowners for the maintenance of trails through the Walks Scheme. Earlier this year I also presented a new mandate for Comhairle na Tuaithe - the Countryside Council - which supports the development of outdoor recreation activities for social, health and economic benefits, and which promotes the responsible use of the countryside where the rights and responsibilities of both landowners and recreational users are recognised and respected.

As part of my Department's engagement with the sector, my officials have explored with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine the impact of walking trails on the payments received by individual farmers. I understand from that engagement that agricultural land through which a greenway, cycleway or walkway is made, may remain eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme, provided such ways are not fenced off, and do not have a permanent surface such as gravel, concrete or tarmac.

The Deputy may wish to contact the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine directly for additional information regarding the possible impacts on other schemes administered by that Department.

Departmental Funding

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deput

under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (582)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

582. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the local authority or project promoter from which he has withdrawn funding for projects that were initially approved by his Department or were approved funding by another Department and responsibility for which was transferred to his Department subsequently; the amount approved and withdrawn, respectively, by each project; if funding for a project was subsequently reinstated by county in each of the years 2017, 2018 and to 1 December 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51330/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The detailed information sought by the Deputy is not available within the timeframe required to respond to this question. However, I have asked my officials to collate the information requested and I will forward it to the Deputy in the coming days.

A deferred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Sports Funding

Ceisteanna (583)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

583. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if grant funding suitable for a large-scale sports project is available (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51352/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Other than LEADER, which the Deputy is aware of, no other programme delivered by my Department funds projects of the type referred to by the Deputy.

The Deputy may wish to contact the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport for information regarding any assistance which may be available under the Sports Capital Programme.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (584)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

584. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of schools in each county that have been successful in applying for a school playground from the CLÁR programme in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of applications in the area annually; and the number of approved and rejected applications by county. [51354/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

As the Deputy is aware, CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) is a targeted investment programme for rural areas that aims to provide funding for small infrastructural projects in areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation.

In recent years, amongst other measures, CLÁR has supported the enhancement or development of community and schools outdoor play facilities.

Table 1 below provides details of the number of schools awarded funding for outdoor play facilities, by county, in each of the years 2016-2019. It should be noted that no school play facilities were funded in 2016.

Table 2 provides details of all CLÁR applications received in each of the years 2016-2019 across all CLÁR measures in each relevant county. It also includes details of the number of applications approved for funding and the number of unsuccessful applications for each of those years.

Table 1: Number of schools per County awarded funding for Outdoor Play Facilities under CLAR

County

2016

2017

2018

2019

Carlow

0

0

2

1

Cavan

0

4

11

3

Clare

0

6

7

2

Cork

0

0

1

0

Donegal

0

0

6

0

Galway

0

0

0

0

Kerry

0

2

3

0

Kilkenny

0

1

1

0

Laois

0

3

1

1

Leitrim

0

0

4

1

Limerick

0

0

0

0

Longford

0

1

0

1

Louth

0

2

5

1

Mayo

0

0

3

0

Meath

0

0

0

1

Monaghan

0

5

7

1

Offaly

0

4

3

1

Roscommon

0

2

3

1

Sligo

0

2

3

0

Tipperary

0

0

1

0

Waterford

0

5

3

1

Westmeath

0

1

2

1

Wicklow

0

0

0

1

TOTAL

0

38

66

17

Table 2: Overall applications received, approved and unsuccessful, by County

County

2016

2017

Received

Approved

Unsuccessful

Received

Approved

Unsuccessful

Carlow

18

18

0

5

5

0

Cavan

33

33

0

29

12

17

Clare

27

27

0

21

10

11

Cork

82

35

47

27

9

18

Donegal

117

78

39

36

10

26

Galway

62

57

5

28

15

13

Kerry

123

27

96

29

8

21

Kilkenny

9

9

0

15

4

11

Laois

24

24

0

20

5

15

Leitrim

27

20

7

21

17

4

Limerick

38

29

9

24

10

14

Longford

20

18

2

24

12

12

Louth

8

6

2

20

10

10

Mayo

81

38

43

29

22

7

Meath

7

7

0

11

4

7

Monaghan

49

29

20

22

16

6

Offaly

18

14

4

22

9

13

Roscommon

39

32

7

22

12

10

Sligo

51

50

1

23

9

14

Tipperary

48

43

5

25

15

10

Waterford

25

23

2

28

10

18

Westmeath

19

18

1

24

3

21

Wicklow

3

3

0

16

4

12

TOTALS

928

638

290

521

231

290

County

2018

2019

Received

Approved

Unsuccessful

Received

Approved

Unsuccessful

Carlow

13

10

3

11

2

9

Cavan

20

16

4

26

11

15

Clare

24

17

7

20

8

12

Cork

29

22

7

29

8

21

Donegal

28

20

8

31

12

19

Galway

30

22

8

30

13

17

Kerry

40

31

9

35

17

18

Kilkenny

13

11

2

13

4

9

Laois

18

15

3

19

4

15

Leitrim

24

18

6

30

11

19

Limerick

23

14

9

18

2

16

Longford

19

14

5

23

14

9

Louth

17

12

5

9

4

5

Mayo

44

31

13

38

18

20

Meath

13

11

2

8

2

6

Monaghan

20

18

2

19

9

10

Offaly

19

13

6

10

2

8

Roscommon

20

14

6

28

12

16

Sligo

22

17

5

18

8

10

Tipperary

31

22

9

23

8

15

Waterford

18

15

3

20

3

17

Westmeath

22

16

6

23

4

19

Wicklow

18

10

8

13

3

10

TOTALS

525

389

136

494

179

315

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (585)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

585. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the CLÁR scheme. [51355/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

CLÁR funding has been provided for a range of measures to be delivered by schools and communities, including for the enhancement or development of Play Areas and Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGAs).

The conditions attached to the CLÁR programme require that such facilities should be available for wider community use, and prospective applicants are aware of this in advance.

Many of the applicants of the type referred to by the Deputy are willing to make these facilities available for wider community use and have consequently received support under the programme. This ensures that these facilities are available for use by local families and visitors to areas which, by their very nature, often have limited facilities for children.

Departmental Advertising Campaigns

Ceisteanna (586)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

586. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the advertising campaigns, promotional events and launches planned by his Department for the first six months of 2020; the budgeted costs of these campaigns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51416/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department is responsible for promoting rural and community development and supporting vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland.

In order for my department to carry out it's functions it engages in a variety of communications activities. While my Department's business planning process, for 2020, is ongoing I anticipate that in the first six months of 2020 I will;

- Announce the third call for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund applications

- Launch a new, whole-of-Government rural development policy

- Launch a National Volunteering Strategy (2020 - 2025)

Any costs associated with these activities will be allocated from my Departments existing budget.