Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Children Robert Troy has slammed the Government for its approach to caring for children who are living in emergency accommodation.
Deputy Troy made the comments following a Fianna Fáil Dáil debate on the housing emergency.
“Since 2012 there has been a five hold increase in the number of families with children living in emergency accommodation. The latest figures show that 1,600 children are currently in such accommodation, and over 80 families are becoming homeless every month,” said Deputy Troy.
“The state is yet to put in place a targeted response to assist children who are living in emergency accommodation. Minister for Children James Reilly has told on a number of occasions in the Dáil that his department has no responsibility for providing support for children stuck in emergency accommodation.
“It has been proven that children living in such accommodation face increased development risks. This is no surprise when you consider the constant disruption associated with living in temporary accommodation on a day to day basis. Children are unable to access their school or GP, have limited contact with their relatives and cannot do basic things such as having a meal at a set time every day.
“Given this context it’s nothing short of shocking that the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) has no special statutory responsibility to put care plans in place for children living in emergency accommodation. According to Minister Reilly it is his view that Tusla only has a reactive role to play in relation to assisting vulnerable children. The Minister is essentially casting these children adrift.
“I believe Tusla should play a proactive role in helping children living in emergency accommodation. The Government must give Tusla statutory responsibility to put care plans in place for vulnerable children to safeguard their development,” concluded Deputy Troy.