Minister acknowledges that homeless children must be helped adapt when rehoused

Care workers have reported speech difficulties and mobility problems for some children living in hotel rooms

Minister acknowledges that homeless children must be helped adapt when rehoused

Photo: Eamonn Farrell/

The Housing Minister has given his assurances that supports will be put in place for homeless children with speech and motor difficulties once they are rehoused.

The latest homelessness figures showed there were 2,895 children without a home in June.

An analysis of Census data, meanwhile, revealed the largest growth category in homelessness was under fours.

Homeless children have already been presenting with various difficulties that have arisen as a result of living in inadequate conditions.

Speaking at the launch of a €12 million turnkey housing project in Carlow, Minister Eoghan Murphy said every effort will be made to help children overcome the feelings of uncertainty about their future.

While more permanent housing projects are underway, the Government and charities are operating 'family hubs' - dedicated emergency accommodation for homeless families.

Minister Murphy explained: "Now we have children presenting with motor difficulties, because they don't have sufficient place to play, to crawl, to develop [necessary] skills.

"That's why we've pursued this hub strategy. We recognise that a hotel or a B&B is in no way an acceptable place even for emergency accommodation for families."

He stressed that all groups involved in dealing with the homelessness crisis are aware of the need to avoid "building in longer term difficulties for these individuals, but also for society as a whole".