We have had a great response to the last stage of our Aftercare campaign with over 500 new supporters sending over 2,500 e-mails to their TDs/Senators during the week in which the Dáil voted on the amendment. This brings the total number of e-mails sent to TDs/senators during the campaign to over 10,100.
Unfortunately, when it came to the vote the amendment was defeated by 67 to 79. You can read the Dáil debate here – just scroll down to amendments 17,18 and 19 – or read the whole debate which covers a wide range of issues affecting children in care.
It now appears that the overall bill will not be passed before the Government falls. While this means that the positive elements in the bill will be lost for now, it also means that this legislation must be a priority for the incoming Government. Gi ven the commitments received from opposition spokespeople about aftercare, this means that there is a real chance of the legal right to aftercare becoming a reality early in the term of the new Dáil.
It is important that, during the election, with the distractions of canvassing and seeking votes, we urge candidates to keep homelessness, poverty and children on their agenda. With this in mind, Focus Ireland has prioritised 6 issues which we have asked all parties to include in their manifestos:
A commitment to set a new timescale for the Homeless Strategy: to end long term homelessness and the need to sleep rough within two years of taking office.
Provide a dedicated funding stream within the Dept. of Environment for long term housing support for people coming out of homelessness who cannot otherwise sustain their new tenancies.
Bring forward a new Youth Homeless Strategy.
Legislate to provide for a statutory right to afte rcare for all young people leaving state care.
Provide for a reliable annual count of all people in homeless services using the Counted In methodology.
Reduce the length of time one must be on rent supplement to become eligible for the Rental Accommodation Scheme from 18 to 6 months.
If you want more information about these proposals you can find it here.
We are asking people who have supported Focus Ireland campaigns to ask their local TDs about their position on these issues. First we are asking you to e-mail your local TDs asking them to check whether these issues are covered in their manifestos. Second we are asking you to raise some of these issues when canvassers/candidates come to your door (we have slightly simplified the list for thi s purpose). You can download that list here and have it handy for when the canvassers call.
Raising these issues in this way will keep political attention on the issues of homelessness, poverty and children in care and will help shape the agenda of the incoming government.
Why not send the e-mail to your local TDs now .
Director of Advocacy Focus Ireland
- Mike Allen from Focus Ireland gives us an update on Child Care (thepressnet.com)
- legal right to Aftercare (thepressnet.com)
- Focus Ireland (thepressnet.com)
- Andrew Doyle on the Child Care Amendment Bill (thepressnet.com)
- Labour Party supports the campaign for a statutory right to aftercare (thepressnet.com)
- FG all chummy with FF td’s in the Dáil (politics.ie)
- Irish Government Gets Crucial Victory, As Finance Bill Is Passed (businessinsider.com)