A new report has highlighted serious child protection concerns for Roma children.
Sponsored by the HSE and Pavee Point, the new report outlines substandard housing and lack of food experienced by some families.
A number of health, social service and education practitioners services said in the seminars that they have never seen such conditions before.
The publication reported on a series of seminars organized by the HSE and the travellers' rights organization, Pavee Point, on the welfare of Roma children living in Ireland.
Statutory and non-governmental personnel frequently report that unemployment and disqualification from social welfare assistance is causing extensive deprivation in some Roma families.
HSE staff blamed extreme child poverty on the condition that you must prove you have a close link to Ireland before qualifying for social welfare payments.
Roma participants in the meetings strongly denied that begging is part of their culture.
Rather, they argued, it is a response to poverty and, to a significant degree, a lack of access to social protection.
Commenting on the findings, Roma Community Development Worker Monika Makulova said poverty should not mean you are taken out of your culture and that Roma children belong in Roma families.
Among other concerns raised in the report are that some Roma may be breaking Irish law by marrying and having children at a young age.
Seminar participants also emphasised that change in cultural practices cannot be imposed and urged that it be promoted from within Roma communities through development initiatives.