Pubdate: Thu, 14 Oct 1999
Source: Irish Times (Ireland)
Copyright: 1999 The Irish Times
Contact:  Letters to Editor, The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2,
Fax: + 353 1 671 9407
Author: Kitty Holland


A total of pounds 30,000 is to be provided to train creche staff
working in drug-treatment centres, the Minister for Justice, Equality
and Law Reform, Mr O'Donoghue, has announced.

The Minister was speaking in Dublin yesterday at the publication of a
report, The Availability, Use and Evaluation of Creche Facilities in
Association With Drug Treatment.

The report, published by the Health Research Board, finds that of the
45 centres providing treatment to drug-misusers in Dublin, just nine -
or 20 per cent - provide childcare facilities for their clients' children.

Ms Roslyn Moran, who wrote the study, said drug-misusing parents,
particularly women, "frequently found themselves in a situation where
they wanted to take more active steps to tackle their drug dependence
but were unable to do so as they did not have access to regular
child-minding arrangements."

The lack of childcare facilities also hindered their ability to access
education or training, and so to break the cycle of unemployment,
poverty and drug abuse.

Welcoming the Minister's announcement, Ms Moran said pounds 30,000 was
not "an enormous amount of money, but it's a start. At least they are
beginning to look at the whole issue."

The parents, children and staff at six of the nine creches were
interviewed for Ms Moran's report. 
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