With Budget 2020 announced on Tuesday 8 October, we are taking a look at some of the proposals outlined in our Pre-Budget Submission.
For young people, and people who are experiencing long term homelessness or part of the Housing First programme, tailored support into education and employment is vital to support them to exit homelessness.
Education supports for children impacted by homelessness and growing up in State care
We believe that investment in a better, fairer education system is both core to improving the lives of young people and reducing homelessness. We are keen to ensure that children impacted by homelessness, or who are growing up in State care in Ireland today, do not experience homelessness in the future.
Peter McVerry Trust is calling on the government to introduce a bursary scheme for children who have grown up in State care or have experienced homelessness during their childhood.
This would ensure that any child who, in the future, wishes to pursue third level, further education, apprenticeships or training would be enabled to do so and thus hopefully benefit from improved life outcomes.
Pathways to employment for vulnerable groups
While there are many people in homelessness who are working and holding down jobs, there are more who are long term unemployed or who have never worked, and for whom existing schemes will not reach, or cannot provide sustainable employment pathways.
Our proposal is designed to target particular groups within homelessness and social housing who are in need of very specific support packages, and to ultimately increase employment participation and retention rates amongst the most vulnerable groups in society.
We encourage the government to fund new initiatives that will create tailored, intensive supports to enable more people from particularly vulnerable groups, such as homeless youth and anyone in the Housing First programme, to secure and sustain employment opportunities.
Social Work Bursary Programme
A current shortfall in appropriately qualified social workers coupled with long term social needs across child and family services, adult services, and in specialised support services such as homeless services and social housing, means there will be a significant need to increase the availability of social workers in the future.
We want to ensure there is an appropriate level of social workers in Ireland to cope with current and future employment needs in the care and support services sector.
We propose that the government commits to reviewing the merits of a Social Worker Bursary Scheme to encourage more people to take up this career path and therefore increase the number of suitably qualified staff available to work in frontline supports and services across a range of statutory and voluntary service providers.
Read our pre-budget submission in full here.