Martin announces a comprehensive package of measures to tackle youth homelessness in the Eastern Region
The Minister for Health and Children, Micháel Martin, TD, has today (14 July, 2000) announced that he has agreed with the Eastern Regional Health Authority that a comprehensive package of child care service developments to tackle youth homelessness will be put in place immediately.
The Minister said “I have had discussions this week with the management of the Eastern Regional Health Authority and am now authorising them to carry out a package of measures to be implemented immediately. While this package cannot be put in place overnight, my clear objective is to ensure that the services can respond effectively and robustly to all cases of youth homelessness including the most severe cases, within a year from now. I particularly want them to be able to meet the needs of homeless children regardless of their difficult or challenging behaviour or of their emotional or social problems”.
This package includes:-
- the appointment of a Director of Youth Homelessness in the Eastern Regional Health Authority who will have responsibility for planning and monitoring services across the three Area Health Boards
- extra investment and organisational streamlining
- the provision of dedicated teams in each of the three Area Health Boards led by an Assistant Chief Executive Officer
The Minister said that he wants staff, management and staff organisations and unions working together to implement this programme. The Minister has met managers and front-line workers over the past three days and intends to initiate a wider process which involves consultation with all the interested parties.
He added “This comprehensive package of measures for the Eastern Region will fast forward the steps set down in the National Strategy on Youth Homelessness which is being prepared and will be launched in September 2000”.