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Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore Criticises Government's Homelessness Action Following Disappointing Report.

The Government's been awarded an "E" grade for homelessness by the Children's Rights Alliance.

The Government's been awarded an "E" grade for homelessness by the Children's Rights Alliance in its annual Report Card. That's down from a C, as the number of children in emergency accommodation creeps back up. Wicklow TD and Social Democrats Children’s Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore spoke on the report, saying, “The government has received an ‘E’ grade on child homelessness, due to persistent increases in the numbers of children becoming homeless in 2021. In December, there were 1,077 families and 2,451 children experiencing homelessness across the country. In Dublin, 25pc of children living in emergency accommodation have been there for more than two years. The report notes that, in the initial phase of the pandemic, the number of families and children experiencing homelessness decreased. However, this was directly related to a ban on evictions and a ban on rent increases. Once the government lifted those measures, the numbers entering homelessness began inexorably increasing once more – and the government has no plan to stop this. ... Elsewhere in the report, the government failed to progress even relatively straightforward measures that could make a real difference to children’s lives. It received a ‘D-’ grade for failing to expand a very limited pilot programme to deliver free school books and a further ‘D’ for failing to evaluate four pilot education projects for Taveller and Roma children. Childhood is short and the government has limited time to intervene and make changes that materially improve children’s lives. This is particularly true for disadvantaged and vulnerable children, who rely on the State for support and whose families are most impacted by the escalating cost-of-living crisis. The government must stop failing these children and commit to implementing targeted measures that help these children reach their full potential.”

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