Direct Provision to be replaced by new not-for profit system by 2024

ireland
Direct Provision To Be Replaced By New Not-For Profit System By 2024
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Digital Desk Staff

A new not-for-profit system to replace direct provision will be in place by December 2024, according to a White Paper to be launched on Friday.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the long-awaited paper builds on the expert report by Dr Catherine Day which recommended ending direct provision "no later" than 2023.

However, under the Government's proposal, the new system will be delivered one year later.

The paper says that much of the time between now and then will be used to build capacity in the not-for-profit sector, which will take the place of the private operators who have thus far made over €1.3bn from the direct provision, established as a temporary measure in 2000.

The paper says that the implementation of the plan will begin this month.

"The process of implementing change is planned to take place between February 2021 and 31 December 2024," it says.

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"It is intended that the new model will be fully operational by December 2024. However, the plan is also intended to introduce significant change each year between 2021 and 2024 and that there will be targets for delivery of change that will be reviewed annually."

Those who enter into the new International Protection Support Service will be accommodated in a reception and integration centre for a maximum of four months.

The paper says that this time will be spent integrating asylum seekers and ensuring they have the supports needed.

Own-door accommodation

After their first four months in Ireland, people whose protection claims are still being processed will move to accommodation in the community.

Phase One

This will be own-door or own-room accommodation, for which they will pay a means-tested rent.

The focus in Phase One will be on identifying needs, defining pathways, and linking applicants to appropriate services.

During this phase, applicants will be taught English and receive employment supports. Applicants will be entitled to seek paid work after six months in a centre.

Crucially, the accommodation in Reception and Integration Centres will be own-door for families — a long-time demand of campaigners — and own-room for single people, with "specific tailoring for people with identified vulnerabilities".

The system will have a capacity for 2,000 people in Phase One, which is estimated to have capital costs of €281m.

In Phase Two, three potential costs are estimated — €165m, €283m, and €391m. This will involve the purchase of sites for six new centres as well as homes for 200 families and the building of 20 apartment blocks.

Current expenditure across a number of departments is estimated at €175m.

Roderic O'Gorman, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, said that the new system would be "grounded in human rights" and would reflect public attitudes.

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