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As the latest release from the Department of Housing shows child homelessness figures have risen to 3,624, Barnardos is calling for better services to help children cope.
Dublin, 27 February 2019 – As the latest release from the Department of Housing shows child homelessness figures have risen to 3,624, Barnardos is calling for better services to help children cope.
Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO said: “The figures released today show that there has been a 10% increase in the number of children living in emergency accommodation since January 2018. It is clear that the Government is failing to stem the tide of homelessness. We know many of these children get little or no support services. Around one in five of the 15,000 children and parents Barnardos works with each year have experienced homelessness. However, not all children experiencing homelessness will have access to Barnardos. The Government is not doing enough to help these children - damaging their childhoods and risking their futures. It is vital more funding is provided so all families can access the support they need to help them cope.
“The families we work with who are experiencing homelessness face countless challenges in their daily lives. One family we worked with recently had to travel two hours to get to Barnardos each morning from their emergency accommodation. Lack of an available toilet on the train meant their smallest child; Ciara who is aged three wet herself causing immense distress and discomfort. Declan, a four year old boy living with his family in a hotel near Dublin Airport started school last September but was too anxious and wasn’t able to settle. His mother made the difficult decision to remove him from school. Barnardos is supporting him through its early years’ service and helping him to transition to school gradually.
“The work we do with families is designed to ensure their social and emotional wellbeing is sustained when they are experiencing the stress of living in emergency accommodation. Our parenting programmes can help parents to develop strategies and routines that provide them and their children with a sense of security during a time of immense uncertainty. We stand in awe of their strength and capacity to keep going; but they cannot do it alone. We urge the Government to provide the supports these children need now.”
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Trudy McCarthy; 01 7080423
Visit Barnardos Media Centre: www.barnardos.ie/media