Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 97 - Drug treatment programmes policy [30819/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 97 - Drug treatment programmes policy [30819/14]. (15 Jul 2014)

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97. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection when the social inclusion strand on community employment and drug rehabilitation projects will be announced and if Pobal will have a role in this strand; if she will give her commitment that the drug rehabilitation projects will remain central to the delivery of the rehabilitation pillar of the National Drugs Strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30819/14]

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): A Working Group, chaired by the Department of Social Protection, was set up in May to develop a framework for the delivery of the drugs rehabilitation response within CE. This group includes stakeholders from drugs rehabilitation projects and representatives from the statutory, community and voluntary sector, including Drugs Task Forces. Work on the social inclusion strand for the CE drug rehabilitation response is still at the early stages but will be progressed over the coming months with a view to an initial roll-out by the end of this year. The establishment of a CE social inclusion strand is designed to facilitate the participation of vulnerable adults who are very distant from the labour market and will set reasonable expectations in terms of expected outcomes for participants. The programme will include provision for mentoring, capacity building and education and training for participants to enable them to progress in the labour market.

The development of the social inclusion strand is informed by the EU policy on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market (Commission Recommendation 2008). The 2008 EU Commission Recommendation on Active Inclusion states that policies should 'facilitate the integration into sustainable, quality employment of those who can work and provide resources which are sufficient to live in dignity, together with support for social participation, for those who cannot.'

The separation of activation objectives from social inclusion objectives - as is planned for CE - will bring clarity to both sets of actions. For participants who can avail of higher level training and gain qualifications, the proposed activation strand will provide the resources and supports to achieve these outcomes.

The issue of the management and administration of the CE Programme is under on-going consideration by the Department. No decision has been made in relation to Pobal’s role in this regard.

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