38. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of social work vacancies in Tusla by title; the number of children classified as high priority awaiting allocation of a social worker; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18546/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child and Family Agency Staff)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 38 and 45 together.
I acknowledge that the recruitment and retention of social workers is one of the biggest challenges for Tusla with only 200-250 graduating per year in a very competitive labour market. 
Working in child protection is one of the most difficult areas, and I fully appreciate the dedication of all professionals in Tusla who undertake this extremely important task.
I am fully s...

45. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the work she is undertaking alongside Tusla to address staff recruitment and retention issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18545/18 asked on 01 May 2018 - Child and Family Agency Staff)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 38 and 45 together.
I acknowledge that the recruitment and retention of social workers is one of the biggest challenges for Tusla with only 200-250 graduating per year in a very competitive labour market. 
Working in child protection is one of the most difficult areas, and I fully appreciate the dedication of all professionals in Tusla who undertake this extremely important task.
I am fully s...

540. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla will conduct a case review of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17548/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Child and Family Agency)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I can advise the Deputy that I am aware of this case. While it is not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases, I have written to Tusla and asked them to give the case the appropriate attention.
 ...

543. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the percentage of the out-of-hours budgets for social work services that were allocated to north County Dublin in each of the years from 2015 to 2017; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17658/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Child and Family Agency Services)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, is responsible for out-of-hours social work services for children and young adults. As the distribution of funds between geographical areas is an operational issue, I have asked Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly on this matter.
 ...

264. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the actions taken to date or that she plans to take to implement the commitment in the National Youth Strategy 2015-2020 to undertake a review of the strategy to assess its progress, examine the process and review the continuing relevance of its objectives and priorities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13443/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - National Youth Strategy)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department provides leadership at national level in implementing the National Youth Strategy and in ensuring that national policy is connected to local implementation. The implementation structures established by DCYA for Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures are being optimised to assist and support the implementation of the National Youth Strategy.
A National Youth Strategy Lead Team has been established in the Department to c...

265. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 190 of 18 October 2017, if the evaluation report on the youth employability initiative has been published; if not, when she plans to publish same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13444/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Youth Employment Initiative)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The report of the evaluation of the Youth Employability Initiative will inform the thinking of my officials in the design and development of any future such initiative.  It is intended to publish the report on the Department’s website in due course.
 ...

266. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the names of all legal entities in receipt of public funds from her Department under the special projects for youth programme in tabular form. (Question 13445/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 271, inclusive, together.
The information sought is being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy in the coming days.
 ...

267. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the names of all legal entities in receipt of public funds from her Department under the young people’s facilities and services fund 1 and 2 schemes in tabular form. (Question 13446/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 271, inclusive, together.
The information sought is being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy in the coming days.
 ...

268. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the names of all legal entities in receipt of public funds from her Department under the local drugs task force projects in tabular form. (Question 13447/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 271, inclusive, together.
The information sought is being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy in the coming days.
 ...

269. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to each legal entity in receipt of public funds from her Department under the special projects for youth programme in 2016 and 2017 in tabular form. (Question 13481/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 271, inclusive, together.
The information sought is being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy in the coming days.
 ...

270. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to each legal entity in receipt of public funds from her Department under the young people’s facilities and services fund 1 and 2 schemes in 2016 and 2017 in tabular form. (Question 13482/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 271, inclusive, together.
The information sought is being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy in the coming days.
 ...

271. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to each legal entity in receipt of public funds from her Department under the local drugs task force projects in 2016 and 2017 in tabular form. (Question 13483/18 asked on 22 Mar 2018 - Departmental Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 271, inclusive, together.
The information sought is being compiled and I will revert to the Deputy in the coming days.
 ...

897. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the cross-departmental work she undertakes with the Department of Education and Skills regarding work experience placements of secondary school students during transition year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12496/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - School Curriculum)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department does not undertake any cross-Departmental work with the Department of Education and Skills to place secondary school students on work experience during transition year.
My Department is fully committed to safeguarding the well-being of all the children and young people with whom we work and, in accordance with section 11 of the Children First Act 2015,  it has prepared and issued the Department’s Child Safeguarding...

900. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding that was provided to each family resource centre in each of the years 2014 to 2017, and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12888/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Family Resource Centres)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The matter raised relates to operations funded by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have asked Tusla to supply the relevant information to the Deputy directly.
 ...

659. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when the three vacant posts on the board of Tusla will be filled; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9607/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Appointments to State Boards)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, provides for the appointment of a nine person Board consisting of a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson and seven ordinary members all appointed by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.  
Appointments to State Boards must be made in accordance with Government Guidelines for Appointment to State Boards that were approved by Government and published in November, 2014.  
My Department i...

24. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of social workers in each region; the number of social worker vacancies in each region; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8829/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Health Services Staff Data)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla has advised that the breakdown of whole time equivalent Social Workers  by region as at 31 December, 2017 is as follows:
 Region/Area WTE  Child Residential  Service 8.6 Residential   DML 1.99 Residential   DNE 2.89 Residential   West   Residential   South 3.72 Special Care Services   National Services 98.04 Dublin Mid-Leinster (DML) 374.78 Dublin   South Central 75.06 Dublin   Sth East\Wicklow 9...

545. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to the fact that some creches have increased their fees after the roll-out of a new subsidy which was intended to lower the cost of childcare for parents; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2803/18 asked on 23 Jan 2018 - Child Care Costs)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Making childcare more accessible and affordable for families in Ireland is a key priority of my Department. I understand and empathise with parents on the issue of childcare costs. I wish to assure Deputy Broughan that steps are being taken to help alleviate these pressures. 
 I understand that the Deputy refers to the ‘September Measures’ which relate to the introduction of a universal payment (a maximum of €1,040 per year) and...

1508. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if there have been child protection issues reported regarding the use of hotels and commercial accommodation as emergency homeless accommodation in each of the years 2015 to 2017 and to date in 2018; the number of such reports in each of those years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1552/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Child Protection)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I am advised by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, that the information requested by the Deputy is not collected in their performance data.
Children living with their parents in homeless accommodation or hotels are in the care of their parents. Concerns about the welfare or safety of a child should be reported promptly to Tusla. If there is a concern that a child is in immediate danger, An Garda Síochána should be contacted wit...

235. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 47 of 28 November 2017, if she will report to Dáil Éireann on the findings of the study co-funded by her Department on food access and nutritional health among families living in hotel accommodation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52160/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Homeless Persons Supports)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Food Access and Nutritional Health among Families in Emergency Homeless Accommodation report by Dr Michelle Share and Ms Marita Hennessy was published in August of this year. The report, which was jointly funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Health, outlined the negative impact food poverty has on the health and well-being of children living in emergency homeless accommodation in Dubli...

47. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department is conducting an examination into the physical and mental health impacts on children experiencing homelessness; if not, her plans to do so; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49915/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Homeless Persons Supports)

Deputy Thomas P. Broughan: As the Minister is aware, there are now more than 3,200 children living in hotel rooms, family hubs, bed and breakfast accommodation, domestic violence refuges and other unsuitable and cramped accommodation. The Minister and her Government committed to ending the use of hotel rooms and that type of accommodation for accommodating families who are homeless by 1 July 2017. That deadline was missed. Although some families were moved into hubs, I believe 690 families ar...

600. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her attention has been drawn to grants that are available to domestic abuse victims who are being housed in temporary supported housing which help towards the cost of furnishings and other goods needed for the accommodation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50497/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Domestic Violence)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence whether in the context of the family or otherwise. At all times, Tusla’s key priority is to ensure that the needs of victims of domestic violence are being met in the best way possible.
In 2017, I provided Tusla with funding of over €22 million for domestic, sexual and gender-base...

189. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way in which the €1.5 million in additional funding for youth work services announced in budget 2018 will be allocated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44150/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Youth Work Projects Funding)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities. The funding schemes support national and local youth work involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff working in youth services and communities throughout the country. 
As the Deputy is aware, Budget 2018 has provided an addition...

190. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 1455 of 26 July 2017, if this report has been published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44151/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): I announced the Youth Employability Initiative in 2016. 28 youth projects have received grants under this Initiative to support programmes that target disadvantaged young people who are most at risk of unemployment and who are not in education, employment or training. The programmes, which are funded under the Dormant Accounts scheme, assisted over 1,000 young people aged 15 to 24 years build skills that will enhance their emp...

191. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the LGBTI+ youth strategy; when she expects to receive the final report on the strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44152/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Youth Strategy)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Programme for Government (2016) gives a commitment to develop a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Youth Strategy. 
I established an Oversight Committee with an Independent Chair, Ms Una Mullally, to oversee the development of the Strategy on 19 December 2016. The group includes cross-sectoral representation from relevant organisations, bodies and Government Departments/Agencies. A Youth Advisory Group also supports t...

61. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the additional resources her Department has provided to support aftercare plans for children leaving State care at 18 years of age from 1 September 2017; her plans to enhance this provision in 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43423/17 asked on 17 Oct 2017 - Children in Care)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Deputy will be aware that from 1 September 2017, children leaving state care upon reaching the age of 18 have a statutory right to an aftercare plan to identify any future supports they may require. 
The transition to independent adulthood can be particularly challenging for children and young people in care. Tusla had advocated for this important change to assist young people in making the transition from a young person in...