Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy has expressed his concern at the Government’s continued failure to address the escalating levels of child poverty and child homelessness.

Deputy Troy was speaking after the Children’s Rights Alliance published its annual Report Card, revealing a doubling of the number of children in consistent poverty since 2008 and a dramatic increase in the number of families with young children who fell homeless last year.

“The escalation in child poverty and child homelessness is nothing short of alarming,” said Deputy Troy.

“Government representatives, with an election in their sights, are tripping over themselves to talk about green shoots and economic recovery. But this report clearly shows that our most vulnerable children are suffering more than ever. We cannot continue to accept a situation where every single month, 40 more families with young children become homeless and child poverty continues to escalate at an alarming rate.

“The Children’s Rights Alliance felt it had no choice but to give the Government an ‘F’ grade for its ‘total, complete and utter failure’ to address child poverty. This is a damming indictment of a coalition that was elected on a promise to prioritise the welfare of our children. Far from being prioritised, the needs of these children are now being ignored.

“I am also deeply concerned about the drastically under-resourced services for children with mental health issues. We still only have less than half of the Children & Adolescent Mental Health Services teams in place that were promised. With only 62 teams in operation for the entire country, 65 promised teams are still not in place.

“When will our most vulnerable children start seeing the benefits of the Government’s much lauded recovery? This report must act as a much needed wake-up call about the reality facing thousands of children at risk in communities across the country.”