Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
97. Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason there is a reluctance to continue the T code status of the community employment schemes; the criteria for ring fenced projects in FÁS; if she will respond to concerns addressed to her by the community projects working in this area. [28948/11]
Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Currently 1,000 community employment placements are ring fenced for persons undergoing rehabilitation from drug addiction. These are referred to as Rehabilitation CE Scheme Places. Specific criteria for the selection of placements and participants, agreed with the sector representatives, are in place. Further work is underway under the aegis of the National Drug Rehabilitation Implementation Committee to review the allocation of placements and to ensure that effective referral protocols are in place.
Community employment schemes are not coded in the manner suggested by the Deputy. Instead, the coding is used by FÁS to identify internally persons referred for placement and who meet the criteria. Persons inappropriately referred are not coded in this manner. A number of special conditions have been agreed for the delivery of the Special Rehabilitation CE Scheme Places. These include age of the participant, duration of placements, supervisory and approval arrangements, qualifying periods, accreditation of training and project support. I have no plans to change the existing arrangements. My Department and FÁS will continue to work with the National Drug Rehabilitation Implementation Committee to improve the effectiveness of this particular initiative.
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