Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Ceisteanna (391)

Jennifer Whitmore

Ceist:

391. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth when the White Paper on direct provision will likely be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2908/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department is currently developing the White Paper, which will set out options, together with the recommended direction, for the new model of accommodation and services for International Protection applicants and the transitional processes needed to implement the model. Options for developing a not-for-profit approach are currently being examined in this regard. In view of the extent of change proposed, the White Paper will take some more time than originally envisaged and it is now expected to be published in the second week of February.

It is recognised by all involved that the replacement of the current system is complex and it will take some time. Therefore, in order to meet our legal obligations to provide accommodation and other support services for protection applicants, existing accommodation centres will continue to operate in the short to medium term while we progress the new model. However, in doing so we will be focusing on the provision of own-door accommodation and facilities to allow for independent living (access to cooking and laundry facilities and communal family areas outside bedrooms) and greatly reducing our need for the use of hotels and guest-houses as an emergency measure.