Minister for Children Brian Lenihan TD Opens “Leaving Care – Are You Ready?” Conference
The Minister for Children, Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., today spoke of the difficulties faced by young people leaving care at a conference organised by the Eastern Regional Health Authority entitled “Leaving Care-Are You Ready?”
The Minister said that the incidence of young people who become homeless after leaving care was a cause for concern. He said that the National Homeless Strategy contained a protocol which specified that “an aftercare support plan be drawn up as part of the overall care plan for the young person and that work should begin on preparing the young person to leave care two years prior to the young person reaching the legal age of them leaving care”.
The Minister said that since 1997, approximately €17M has been invested in Youth Homelessness. “The main difficulty in regard to Youth Homelessness has been in the Dublin area and, therefore, €11.6M of this funding has been made available to the Eastern Region to address this problem”, the Minister added.
The Minister congratulated the Eastern Regional Health Authority for their efforts at tackling the problem of Youth Homelessness. “We must ensure that Leaving Care services are put in place to support young people and prepare them for living independently with the level of support being offered in a flexible way as their confidence and own sense of independence grows”, the Minister said.