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Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Family Support Services (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I thank the Senator for raising the issue and I welcome the opportunity to respond. She wrote to me last week on this issue and I appreciate her concern. I have also received a number of representations from other public representatives on this matter, including the Minister of State, Deputy Catherine Byrne, Deputies Ó Snodaigh, Bríd Smith and Joan Collins and Councillor Michael...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Family Support Services (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I have listened very carefully to everything the Senator said in both of her contributions. I appreciate all the dimensions she identifies, the passion with which she speaks and the knowledge she brings to the subject. I know our time is short but I have some comments. The Senator indicated that the board of management was excluded from the recruitment process. Everything she said will be...

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Adoption Data (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: Based on figures provided by the Adoption Authority of Ireland, there has been over 44,000 adoptions in Ireland since the commencement of the Adoption Act 1952. 72 adoption orders were granted in 2018. The Authority advise that there is no data on the number of individuals that also had a sibling placed for adoption. The Adoption Authority of Ireland operates the National Adoption...

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Adoption Records Provision (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: In relation to adoption records, there is no automatic release of birth or other information. However, individuals can apply to the agency that holds their records for their own information. There is no automatic access to personal information relating to other individuals, which would include a sibling placed for adoption, as data protection provisions apply. The Adoption Authority of...

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Health Services Provision (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: There are no specific screening programmes for adoptees. Adoptees are entitled to avail of all existing medical screening programmes on the same basis as any other citizen. In terms of access to medical or other information, adoptees may apply to the agency which holds their records (which may include medical or genetic information, where this exists) for their own information....

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Childcare Services Data (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: As the matters to which the Deputy refers are an operational matter for Tusla, I have requested Tusla to respond to the Deputy directly within 10 working days.

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Children in Care (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I wish to thank the Deputy for his question, and can confirm that I have referred the matter to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, for their direct reply.

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Departmental Advertising Expenditure (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: The information requested is being collated by officials in my Department and I will revert to the Deputy in due course.

Written Answers — Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Departmental Advertising Expenditure (11 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: The information requested is being collated by officials in my Department and I will revert to the Deputy in due course.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Domestic Violence Services Funding (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I thank the Deputy for raising the issue. I am aware of the interface between housing, homelessness and domestic and sexual violence. That is clearly an issue. Safe Ireland is one of our greatest organisations in this area and does excellent work. I am also aware of the issues that it raises and shares with the Deputy and I seek to address them. On the standards of the Istanbul...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Domestic Violence Services Funding (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I am aware that it would cost considerably more money. One reason that Tusla and others are going with the first standard is because of the argument that we ought to spend our money to provide community services and integrate them into the community.

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Insurance Costs (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: As the Deputy said, the issue of insurance costs across a number of sectors is of great concern. As she will be aware, the Government is pursuing insurance reform, although perhaps not in the way in which Deputies opposite want it to. Another Minister is in charge of that. I will add to my initial information further information specifically about the childcare sector. My understanding...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Insurance Costs (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I agree with the Deputy. This is putting the childcare organisations in her constituency to the pin of their collar in terms of sustainability. The Department is available to work with, and support, these organisations through some kind of sustainability plan. If they have not asked, they should reach out. I have indicated that we have not heard concerns from many providers. If, however,...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Domestic Violence Services Funding (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: Last Thursday I attended an event hosted by Saoirse Women's Refuge and Women Together Tallaght Network as part of the 16 days of activism campaign. Before my time in government, I worked directly with the local communities in the greater Tallaght area. I strongly value the hard work and community spirit of the people of Tallaght. I understand that the networks to which the Deputy...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Domestic Violence Services Funding (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: I am very much aware of the additional fundraising that domestic refuge shelters need to do because they talk to me too. I will answer the Deputy's questions in a couple of different ways. Regarding the ongoing resources they require, since the beginning of my Ministry, I have increased the resources to this sector by more than €5 million in recent years. I understand that is...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Foster Care (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: Children in care are among the most vulnerable in our society, and it is the responsibility of Tusla to ensure they are placed in safe environments. While it is not possible to remove every risk, Tusla makes every effort to assess thoroughly all people who wish to be foster carers. The approval process for general foster carers can take several months. The assessment is carried out by a...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Foster Care (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: The Deputy mentioned the recent campaign Tusla conducted to see if it could get more people interested in providing foster care. As the Deputy indicated, it resulted in some 350 inquiries, which are now being followed up. That is substantial and I congratulate Tusla for doing that, in particular as it was the first time. One of the reasons it did that was in regard to resources and the...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Foster Care (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: As I have indicated, the child has a social worker and the foster carers have a link social worker, and those are considered to be forms of real direct support. I hear the Deputy's point that some foster carers may be making representations to her that they feel they could use more support. I will communicate that to Tusla. However, that should not stop Tusla from going out and looking for...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Insurance Costs (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: Childcare services in this country are provided by more than 4,500 private or not-for-profit services. My Department engages with the services regularly through a number of organisations and representative groups. Insurance costs and risks associated with this area for early learning and care and school age childcare services have very recently been flagged with my Department, and my...

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions: Children and Family Services Provision (10 Dec 2019)

Katherine Zappone: We have been in direct contact with Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ETB and its development officer for youth and sports. The information I have in the email is that the supervision was never for the children. It was for the play equipment.

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