Emotional damage to homeless children should be examined by Ombudsman for Children

September 1, 2017

The impact of homelessness on school age children living in emergency accommodation should be examined by the Ombudsman for Children, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has said.

Deputy Murphy made the call as the new school term begins and thousands of homeless children are traveling to school from emergency accommodation including hotels and B&Bs.

“It must be heartbreaking for families sending their children back to school this week, fearing that they may face being teased or ostracised because they are homeless. This can only add to the already enormous daily stress endured by homeless families. Unfortunately, the tragic deaths of two homeless people this week, one of them a young mother of two, has brought this into even sharper focus.

“So much emotional damage is being done to homeless children in their early years because they can’t enjoy the normal everyday things that many of us take for granted – like bringing friends around for playdates or having a kitchen table to do their homework at.

“While these deprivations can never be reversed, it would be very worthwhile if the Ombudsman for Children used his powers to carry out an investigation to assess and examine the impacts on children of being homeless.”

ENDS

1 September 2017