Press Release

Hanafin announces Special Initiative for homeless children at Christmas

Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin T.D., has today (Thursday, December 21, 2000) announced an initiative by the Health Boards in partnership with voluntary providers to make available additional accommodation and facilities for homeless children in Dublin.

Earlier this week, the Minister met with the three recently-appointed Assistant Chief Executives for Child Care and Youth Homeless Services and the new Director of Homelessness with the eastern region. The Chief Executives and the Director outlined the plan to use existing and new emergency facilities to provide places for homeless children over the Christmas and New Year period. This includes extended outreach and day facilities.

“I am pleased to see that following the initiative to tackle youth homelessness agreed earlier this year, significant progress has been made on the enhancement of services for young homeless people and that safe, comfortable and welcoming placements will be available over the Christmas and New Year period,” said Minister Hanafin.

She added that over £3m additional revenue has been made available to support these developments and an extra £5m has been allocated for youth homelessness in the recent budget.

She paid tribute to the Area Health Boards and voluntary providers for their close co-operation in this initiative and praised the staff, who will be providing the service over the Christmas period.

Minister Hanafin added that further funding is being made available in 2001 to develop a comprehensive range of new services to address youth homelessness in the Eastern Region. These include a further two emergency units; outreach teams; downstream residential places; and the appointment of additional staff in child care services.

“These services will assist young people who are experiencing homelessness and will also help to prevent at risk young people becoming homeless in the first place. My aim is to ensure that young people who are currently homeless are given the safety and security they need and the support to help reintegrate into their family and community,” said Minister Hanafin.