Barnardos Welcomes Publication of White Paper on Direct Provision

Emphasis on Child Welfare & Protection a Key Component of a Future System with Human Rights at its Core

Posted on Monday 01 March 2021 in Press Releases

Barnardos welcomes the milestone publication of the White Paper on Direct Provision published on Friday, 26 February. The organisation has been supporting children and families living in Direct Provision since 2003 and has long been calling for the current system to be replaced.

Suzanne Connolly, CEO Barnardos says, “The publication of this White Paper is a milestone in the ongoing effort to overhaul a system that has deprived families and children of their rights. We are very supportive of the ambition to provide an International Protection System that is ‘centred on a human rights and equality based approach’. As with all plans, implementation is now key.

“The emphasis on child welfare and child protection is welcome. In particular, the availability of family and child development supports during the application process is much needed and is something that is, and should continue, to be available in the interim until the goals of this White Paper are achieved.

“The focus on the needs of children through the greater role of Children and Young People Service Committee’s (CYPSC), and the provision by CYPSC member organisations of services and support through in-reach and out-reach approaches is very much welcome. Similarly, targeted input from TUSLA and the mobilisation of voluntary and community organisations in the provision of family and child development supports is an important component of this White Paper, and will need to be adequately resourced. 

Ms. Connolly continued, “we also welcome the commitment to vulnerability assessments and recognition that applicant families who have experienced conflict or trauma will need additional supports.  We would hope to see these specialist supports adopting a trauma informed approach when working with these very vulnerable children and families.

 “We very much welcome the move to own front door accommodation for families after an initial four month assessment period. The long-term impact of how this will support a family’s integration to the community cannot be underestimated. To be able to cook your own food, dine as a family, and share your culture with neighbours should be very much welcomed. As will the opportunity for children to have friends over for playdates, enjoy a birthday party, and play in the local playground.

“We hope that in the allocation of accommodation, extended family networks and communities will be considered, and we would strongly advocate that extended families are not separated.

“An additional inclusion in the White Paper to prioritise applications from unaccompanied minors, who will receive a first decision and, where possible, a final instance decision on their application prior to their 18th birthday is most welcome. As the system currently stands, young people are moved from foster care back into direct provision centres when they reach this usually much celebrated birthday. Similarly, a commitment to provide young people in after care with after care support is something that is new and welcome.”

Ms. Connolly finished by saying, “This proposed new system takes a holistic view of wellbeing rather than focusing on accommodation and this is cornerstone to ensuring we welcome and adequately support those families and children who arrive in Ireland seeking our protection.”



For further information, please contact the Barnardos press office at -

Tel: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966 

[email protected]
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