3,000 families on waiting list for adequate shelter

Social policy minister admits being ‘shocked’ at the numerous social problems she found during the first weeks since her appointment.

Social policy minister Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said she was "shocked" to find a high number of social problems, despite having shadowed the health sector for years.

"I always knew there were problems but I never expected to serious situation which I found," Coleiro Preca told the House, adding that for example, there were some 3,000 families waiting for adequate shelter.

Coleiro Preca said there was a high number - 600 - of children in out of home care, prompting her to question what was happening to society.

"Providing care is not enough. There are hundreds of children in foster care, others living in institutions and others waiting for care plans to be provided by Appogg. The question that arises is what is happening to society?" she said, insisting that authorities must look at the root cause of the problems.

The minister said there were some 68 children waiting to be given a care plan or else not having a carer to follow up on their development. For the Youth in Focus programme, the waiting list was of 71 with the oldest dating back two years.