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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 37-49 - Community employment drug rehabilitation projects [12525/15, 12526/15, 12527/15, 12528/15, 12529/15, 12530/15, 12531/15, 12532/15, 12533/15, 12534/15, 12535/15, 12536/15, 12613/15]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answers 37-49 - Community employment drug rehabilitation projects [12525/15, 12526/15, 12527/15, 12528/15, 12529/15, 12530/15, 12531/15, 12532/15, 12533/15, 12534/15, 12535/15, 12536/15, 12613/15]. (26 Mar 2015)

External website: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20A...


37. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the most up-to-date available information on the annual cost of the special community employment schemes. [12525/15]

38. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the most up-to-date available breakdown of annual costs, including all wage, salary, training and capital costs. [12526/15]

39. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the number of client participants and service users currently employed in the special community employment schemes. [12527/15]

40. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the wage cost for the client participants and service users currently employed in the special community employment schemes. [12528/15]

41. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the gender breakdown of the client participants and service users currently employed in the special community employment schemes. [12529/15]

42. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the current number of key workers employed in the special community employment schemes (details supplied). [12530/15]

43. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the current wage cost of key workers employed in the special community employment schemes. [12531/15]

44. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the budget allocated specifically for key worker training for key workers employed in special community employment schemes. [12532/15]

45. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the current actual expenditure incurred specifically for training key workers employed in special community employment schemes. [12533/15]

46. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if key workers employed in the special community employment schemes are paid the same wages and work the same hours as participants on the same schemes and are subject to the same employment contract terms and conditions, including duration of employment contract. [12534/15]

47. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the policy justification for the equal employment conditions of client participants, service users and key workers, considering their clearly distinct role involvement in the special community employment schemes. [12535/15]

48. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the policy justification for there being no recognition in regard to the accumulated training and experience of key workers employed in a special community employment scheme. [12536/15]

49. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will provide details of the breakdown between men and women employed as key workers in the special community employment schemes. [12613/15]

 

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 37 to 49, inclusive, together.

 

  There are 1,000 drug rehabilitation places ring-fenced on Community Employment (CE). As of December 2014, there are 936 referred clients (292 female, 644 male) on drug rehabilitation schemes and 220 support workers (117 female, 103 male).

 

  There has been no change to the CE Budget for Drug Rehabilitation places in 2015 over 2014 which remains at €14.5m. This is based on the average cost of a CE place of €13,000 which includes a budget for participant allowances (€12.5m), supervisory costs (€1.5m), material costs (€250,000) and training costs (€250,000). The combined weekly wage cost for referred clients and support workers is approximately €254,400. The conditions relating to participation on CE are contained in the CE Operations Manual. All CE participants receive a payment of €208 per week while participating on CE and the hours are 19.5 hours per week or 39 hours per fortnight.

 

  There are no key workers posts on CE Drug Rehabilitation Schemes. The structure of a CE Drug Rehabilitation scheme is 1 Supervisor to 7 referred participants (a ratio of 1:7). In addition, 2 support workers may support the delivery of the CE Scheme. Support workers who are job-seekers and over 1 year unemployed, comply with normal CE eligibility conditions and are referred from Intreo Offices. Participants on the ring-fenced places must be referred by a recognised addiction practitioner.

 

  The quality of a supervisor can be the single most important factor in the success of a CE drug rehabilitation scheme, together with the support of an active Sponsoring Committee. All supervisors must be competent to provide coaching and mentoring to participants and ensure that relevant training or work experience opportunities are provided for participants in their path to rehabilitation and progression.

 

  The role of CE schemes is to help recovering drug users to develop their personal and employment skills and to find a pathway back to work. Part of this engagement involves working closely with existing services to progress an interagency focus on education, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and training – five key pillars of the National Drugs Strategy (2009-2016) - for the advancement of the participant.   

 

  The Health Service Executive (HSE) has responsibility for ensuring that each person is appropriately supported through the rehabilitation system. The supports are clearly outlined in the National Drugs Rehabilitation Framework Document (2010) and include provision for a key worker - “the key worker is the named person who is assigned to work closely with the service user and provide a range of psycho-social interventions/advocacy  ” (2010:11) and falls within the services and supports provided by the HSE.

 

  A key feature of the Department's response in supporting CE rehabilitation schemes was the establishment of a key Drugs Stakeholders Group in 2013 which now assists the Department to identify and implement enhancements to the scheme. In addition, training workshops have been held with the scheme supervisors and departmental staff to ensure that the schemes continue to meet the needs of participants.

 

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