May 9, 2023
Sinn Féin supports Focus Ireland Best Interests of the Child Bill – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin has TD, said that Sinn Féin fully supports Focus Irelands Best Interests of the Child Bill campaign being launched today. 

The legislation published by Focus Ireland this morning places an obligation on Local Authorities to take the “Best Interests of the Child“ into account when working with families who present as homeless. 

The campaign comes at a time when there are almost 3,500 children in emergency accommodation.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The number of children living in Department of Housing-funded emergency accommodation has increased by over 60% since this government came into office. Many of these children are spending more than two years in unsuitable and inappropriate emergency accommodation.

“The emotional and physical impact on children arising from even short stays in emergency accommodation can be significant. While much good prevention work takes place, including Local Authorities and Voluntary Sector Homeless Services, too often families with children are failed by the system.

“Councils are over stretched as numbers of people experiencing homelessness continue to rise. Too much is left to families to source alternative accommodation and, in some cases, to source alternative emergency accommodation.

“We need a system that focuses more on prevention, early intervention and in particular placing the best interests of the child at the centre of any response to homelessness or risk of homelessness.

“Sinn Féin strongly supports the Focus Ireland Bill and will work with the charity and other parties in the Dáil to get this into law as soon as possible.”

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