Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Department of Social Protection
Community Welfare Services Provision
314. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which community welfare services remain readily accessible in all areas throughout the country with particular reference to meeting out-of-hours or emergency needs where necessary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36292/16]
People claiming supports under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme generally only interact with the Department on an occasional basis, for example, when seeking an exceptional needs payment or in claiming additional supports such as rent supplement. The availability of the Community Welfare Service (CWS) during normal office hours is therefore sufficient for general day to day requirements. CWS services are delivered through Intreo Centres and some 180 clinics nationwide.
However, in response to emergency situations such as those caused by severe weather events, local management assesses the response required to ensure that supports are provided to those affected as swiftly as possible. This may include provision of emergency or out of hours services and may be supplemented by facilitating clients with individual appointments and making house calls.