3rd of December 2020
No Room at the Inn…. LeFroy House to close
Shock, dismay, and bewilderment are some of the feelings that have been expressed on hearing the news that LeFroy House will close at the end of this year.
The Nightlight service at Lefroy House on Eden Quay has been operating for over 20 years, providing emergency accommodation and food to vulnerable young people. LeFroy house provides hostel services for up to seven teenagers and provides support flats to 17- and 18-year olds. Nightlight is operated by the Salvation Army, while the supported flats are managed by Tusla, both of whom will withdraw support for these services.
Emergency accommodation and supported accommodation is crucial for vulnerable and at-risk children and young people. There is a current shortage of support or step-down accommodation specifically for children and young people, not only in Dublin but nationally. To announce the closure of this facility without having a clear and immediate replacement strategy for vulnerable children and young people is simply unacceptable.
EPIC is calling on the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman, to address how this vital service will be replaced.
The government must urgently improve their approach to supporting at risk and vulnerable children and young people and ensure that there is a coherent, multi-agency and interdepartmental strategy to address the short, medium- and long-term plans for vulnerable children, teenagers, and young adults in this country. It is the duty of the government to ensure that every child receives the supports required to enable them to achieve their potential and that we truly cherish all the children of this nation equally. The current review of Better Outcomes Brighter Future (BOBF) must ensure that there is appropriate provision for these vulnerable children and young people. We need now more than ever, a multi-agency approach to develop a real plan with a clear and unequivocal commitment to positive action for our most vulnerable children and young adults.
Contact: Terry Dignan, CEO (01 8727661 or 087 2370269)
Notes to Editor:
Young People in Care in Ireland: https://www.tusla.ie/data-figures/
Irish Coalition to End Youth Homelessness: https://www.endyouthhomelessness.ie/who-we-are/
EPIC is a national voluntary organisation that works with and for children and young people who are currently living in care or who have experience of living in care. This includes those in residential care, foster care, relative care, hostel, high support and special care. EPIC also works with young people preparing to leave care and those in aftercare. EPIC’s National Advocacy and Participation programmes are designed to ensure children and young adults in care have a voice and are listened to on issues affecting their lives. EPIC is a national service with offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.