Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 23/07/2014. Tags: Education And Politics
According to The Journal
last night, there are still no Educational Welfare Officers (EWO) for Dublin 3, 7 and 15.
EWO’s are responsible for ensuring children between 6 and 16 years old are attending school. Over a decade ago, the National Educational Welfare Board
was set up under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. Tulsa, The Child and Family Agency are responsible for these officers, as their website states:
“Our job is to support families and make sure that every child receives an education. Almost all children do this through school.”
If a child misses too much school, the school will notify the local EWO who may visit the parents to find out why the child is absent. However, there have been no EWOs for these Dublin areas for a period of time because of the current block on public service recruitment.
Newly appointed Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, James Reilly, has commented that, “Arrangements are in place so that schools in these areas continue to have access to support from the Education Welfare Service.”
He added, “Vacancies that arise in staffing in the front line services for children and young people at risk of early school leaving are kept under review and will be prioritised by the Agency, in consultation with my Department, in so far as possible working within Government policy on public service numbers and the moratorium on recruitment.”
Independent TD for Dublin North-East, Tommy Broughan, has raised the obvious concerns with the lack of officers, explaining that in his own constituency, ‘there is only one EWO for an area with 50,000 households.’