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Barnardos has today launched its annual Pre-Budget Submission and for the first time is calling on the Government to address gaps in funding for Family Support services delivered by the charity and others.
Posted on Tuesday 01 October 2019 in Press Releases
Tuesday 1 October: Barnardos has today launched its annual Pre-Budget Submission and for the first time is calling on the Government to address gaps in funding for Family Support services delivered by the charity and others.
Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO, said: “Every year since 2007, Barnardos has published a Children’s Budget with the aim of putting children’s interests at the centre of the budgetary decision-making process. For the first time ever, following our recent commitment to becoming a trauma informed organisation, we are calling on the government to adequately fund Family Support services. Budget 2020 can begin to do this by restoring a funding cut imposed on Barnardos and other organisations receiving funding under Service Level Agreements from Tusla Child and Family Services, at a cost of €3 million.
“According to research between one-fifth and a quarter of all children have poor economic, social and educational outcomes. In a recent Barnardos survey on resilience, one in four parents told us that they did not know where to get help if they were worried about their child. Almost one in five parents indicated that their child does not have the necessary support to reach their full potential in school. While the vast majority of children in Ireland are doing well there are a cohort that need further support that Barnardos can provide.
“Earlier this year Barnardos commissioned Just Economics, an independent research company, to investigate the effect that funding cuts imposed over a decade ago are having on our ability to deliver services to children and their families. As part of the research, Barnardos managers highlighted that cases have become more complex, there has been an increase in waiting lists for Barnardos family support services and pressure to close cases early. The report authors compared Ireland’s expenditure on preventable social problems with 10 European countries and they found that Ireland performs second worst. The authors conclude that due to the underfunding of services, Ireland is spending €6.95bn more on addressing preventable social problems”.
The children's charity is also urging the Government to use Budget 2020 to make a number of sustainable investments, which would support Ireland’s most vulnerable children to reach their full potential. Barnardos is calling for increased funding for health services, targeted social welfare payments, resources to prevent, and support those experiencing homelessness and to begin to introduce truly free education by providing free school books to all primary school children at a cost of €20 million.
Ms. Connolly continued: “Barnardos vision is a country where every child can reach their full potential and this can only be achieved by targeting income supports at the poorest families, providing well-resourced health and services and ensuring that all children get the same opportunities in school through the introduction of free education”.
Notes to Editor:
1. Read Barnardos’ Children’s Budget
2. Research by Walsh and Cullinan (2015) shows that although most Irish children do well, between a fifth and a quarter have poor economic, social and educational outcomes. See Walsh, B. and Cullinan, J., 2015. Decomposing socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity: Evidence from Ireland. Economics & Human Biology,16, pp.60-72.
3. Barnardos Resilience Survey – further details available on request
4. Just Economics Report
5. Barnardos Strategy 2019-2021
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Trudy McCarthy; 01 7080423