Press Release

Minister of State Hanafin announces £200,000 Research Fund

Speaking in Kilkenny at the Annual Conference of the Resident Managers Association, the Minister of State for Children, Ms Mary Hanafin TD today (Thursday, 16 November 2000) announced that a dedicated research fund of £200,000 would be made available in 2001 (and in subsequent years) for research into the needs of children in care.

She said there is a need for research to establish what works in responding to the needs of children. It is not enough to be well intentioned: our policies need to be underpinned by solid, research based evidence and for this reason I am setting up this fund. The aim is to ensure that relevant research is commissioned and the results disseminated and I see research into residential care as being a major priority. Making this funding available is a first step. I intend to keep the issue very much under review and to provide increased funding as the research programme develops.

The new research fund is being established under the National Children’s Strategy which was launched last Monday. One of the goals of the Strategy is that children’s lives should be better understood. This goal aims to improve our research and information about children’s lives so that services can be better tailored to their needs.

She concluded it will be necessary to put in place structures to evaluate and to select research proposals and this will be done in conjunction with interested groups – including the Resident Managers Association.