Dáil Éireann - Volume 520 - 08 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Special Schools.
Mr. S. Ryan Mr. S. Ryan
30. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science the nature of the therapeutic programmes provided in the special schools for young offenders; the basis on which these programmes are devised; the method, if any, used for their evaluation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16172/00]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): All juvenile offenders placed in the custodial facilities operated under my Department undergo detailed assessment of all aspects of their needs including their educational needs. Most of these assessments are carried out in the National Remand and Assessment Centre, Finglas in the case of boys or in Oberstown girls centre in the case of girls. The assessments cover areas such as education, social skills, offending behaviour, relationships, family dynamics, medical history, psychological evaluation, substance abuse and job skills.
The therapeutic programmes followed in the centres are individually tailored to meet the specific needs of each young person and any special needs are addressed as part of these programmes. All programmes follow “best practice” intervention methods generally accepted throughout Europe.
The progress of all young persons is evaluated at case reviews and case conferences throughout the year. All members of the multidisciplinary team, including outside agencies, evaluate the progress of such programmes and plan for their revision. Specific intervention strategies may require the monitoring expertise of psychologists and/or psychiatrists. These services are available when necessary at the centres.
Good child care practice demands that proper planning is undertaken when children enter residential care. This detailed planning addresses the question of how care is to support the young person while in the residential facility and to prepare them for their re-entry in to the community and family.
Dáil Éireann 520 Written Answers. Special Schools.