Zappone to meet with front-line agencies to discuss new supports for homeless children

The Children's Minister says she is hoping to introduce 'concrete and costed' plans

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Katherine Zappone. Image:

The Children's Minister is to meet with front-line agencies as part of efforts to help the more than 2,000 youngsters here who are currently homeless.

It is understood representatives from Barnardos, the ISPCC and Focus Ireland will be among the delegation holding talks with Minister Katherine Zappone at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs this morning.

Minister Zappone told Newstalk Breakfast that she has prioritised finding ways to support children who are homeless or in emergency accommodation since she took office.

"I can confirm as Children's Minister that there is going to be a section of this plan where we are going to look at very practical things," she explained.

"Already the front-line agencies have said one of the problems is that the kids oftentimes end up in hotels where they are far away from the schools they have been attending - so the issue of transport is going to be key.

"Other times their families aren't going to be able to cook meals for them - what can we do about that? Some children have additional needs because of disability, or actually because they've left home because of an issue of domestic violence," she said.

She added that she's hoping to develop a series of 'concrete and costed' supports to meet the children's concerns and needs in the short term.

In a separate development - the Dáil will later debate the recommendations of the special Oireachtas committee set up to to investigate our current housing crisis.

Fianna Fail TD John Curran, chaired that committee and hopes the Housing Minister Simon Coveney pays attention to tonight's debate: