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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 176 - Community employment drug rehabilitation projects [8094/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 176 - Community employment drug rehabilitation projects [8094/15]. (24 Feb 2015)


176. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of nationwide 47 dedicated community employment drug schemes that are operating at full capacity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8094/15]

 

177. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of the 35 dedicated community employment drug schemes in the Dublin region that are operating at full capacity; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [8095/15]

 

178. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide an updated confirmation on the number of ring-fenced drug rehabilitation participants on community employment schemes, since reported by the Department of Social Protection, as 824 participants as at 31 December 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [8096/15]

 

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 to 178, inclusive, together.

 

I am pleased to say that considerable progress has been made in increasing the number of participants on the community employment (CE) drug rehabilitation scheme, the majority of which (two-thirds of participants) are in the Dublin region. At December 2014, there are 936 referred clients on drug rehabilitation places, compared to 824 in 2012. In addition, there are 220 support workers giving a total of 1,156 places dedicated to drugs rehabilitation on CE. This number is very close to full capacity.

 

A key first step in securing this improvement was the establishment of a stakeholder group which now assists the Department to identify and implement enhancements to the scheme. In addition, workshops have been held with the scheme supervisors and departmental staff to ensure that the schemes meet the needs of participants. To complement these changes, an improved vacancy notification system and referral process was introduced by this Department.

 

During any given year, participants may exit for many reasons, including illness/relapse, gaining employment, maternity leave, retirement, emigration, transfer to another scheme, exit to a training programme or completion of CE. Therefore, there is a cycle of places becoming vacant and being filled on an ongoing basis on schemes. All referrals to the drug rehabilitation places come directly from treatment centres or other designated personnel engaged in the rehabilitation process.

 

The CE Drug Rehabilitation Scheme plays an important role in helping recovering drug users to develop their personal and employment skills. In this regard, I am pleased that the number of places filled increased substantially last year and that this will continue in 2015.

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