Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Refugee Resettlement Programme
456. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if the contract will be extended for the resource worker appointed to work with the 18 families recently resettled (details supplied) in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44347/20]
The Longford Refugee Resettlement programme commenced on 1st March 2018 following the signing of a grant agreement between the Department of Justice and Longford County Council for a period of 18 months with funding of €191,500 under Phase I of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP, 2015-2019).
The commencement date of the programme was changed at the request of the Council to align the period of the grant agreement with the contract of employment of the Resettlement Support Worker and Intercultural Support Worker. The period of support for arriving refugees commenced on 26th November 2018 and was expected to conclude on 25th May 2020.
In May 2020, the Council submitted an application for a six month extension. Following appraisal, the grant period was extended until November 2020 with additional funding of €55,000.
Integration supports have proven challenging to deliver due to Covid related restrictions, with particular families requiring intense supports particularly in the area of mental health. In August 2020, at the request of RESPOND, Implementing Partner of the Longford Refugee Resettlement Programme, Longford County Council submitted a request for a further 4 months extension bringing the resettlement programme to conclude on 16th March 2021. The Irish Refugee Protection Programme sanctioned the extension with additional funding of €35,000.
The Longford Refugee Resettlement Programme will now conclude on 16th March 2021 having been allocated total funding of €281,500. As Longford has concluded the resettlement of refugees under the terms of 2017 CCMA quota agreement, there is no provision to extend the programme further.