Mr. John Moloney T.D.
Minister for Disability and Mental Health
Department of Health and Children
11 October 2010
Dear Minister Moloney,
I am writing to you in support of our members, the Jack and Jill Foundation, in advance of their meeting with you next Tuesday, 12 October 2011. The Foundation urgently requires an increase of €750,000 in their annual State contribution and we urge you to seriously consider their appeal.
As you know, the Jack and Jill Foundation is providing critical care and support to very sick children and their families. Their work allows children to be cared for more suitably at home in their own family settings, rather than in acute hospitals. The Foundation cares for a child at a cost of €16,500 per annum, while under HSE care these costs are €146,000 a year. At present, the Foundation cares for over 300 children, but without additional funding, they will have no option but to cut back on the number of hours of nursing they provide. The Foundation estimates that such a cut back would incur a cost of €15 million to the State.
We believe that the investment in the work of an organisation like the Jack and Jill Foundation is a perfect example of what the Alliance has termed a ‘smart’ budget decision. Smart budgeting means taking policy and budgetary decisions for children that are efficient in their use of resources and effective in their ability to improve children’s outcomes. This can be achieved though better and more creative uses of public money. The Alliance is working with the UCD Geary Institute on proposals that reflect this new approach. In our pre-budget submission this year, the Alliance is asking Government to take a longer-term approach when making decisions about policy that affects children.
Aside from the moral imperative to support the work of the Jack and Jill Foundation, doing so also makes clear economic sense. The case of the Jack and Jill Foundation brings to life the Alliance’s argument on ‘smart’ budgeting. Quite simply, without additional funding, children will have to return to intensive care, incurring massive and unnecessary costs on the State.
Thank you for considering this letter and please contact me anytime if you wish to discuss in more detail.
Jillian van Turnhout
Children’s Rights Alliance