The Government has been criticised by a coalition of children's welfare organisations for allowing child homelessness to more than double in the past year.

One in nine of the nation’s children live in poverty and the number of homeless children rose by 90% to 1,830 in 2015.

However, the Children's Rights Alliance praised Budget 2016 for being child-friendly.  

The assessment of the government's treatment of children and young people is outlined in the eighth in its series of annual Report Cards on a range of policy areas.

It was prepared by an independent panel for the 100-plus members of the alliance.

For the fourth consecutive year, the outgoing Government has received an overall 'C' grade, reflecting a number of positive developments.

But performance on Child Poverty was awarded an 'E' grade and Child and Youth Homelessness dropped to an 'F' rating, reflecting what is described as "the inability of the Government to take decisive action to address this crisis".

Children's Rights Alliance CEO Tanya Ward praised last October’s budget for starting to turn the corner in tackling child poverty, but criticised the number of children experiencing homelessness as "just not acceptable".

Ms Ward also praised the Government's record on family law reform but said groups of children have been left behind.

For example, she said, the situation of Traveller, Roma and migrant children only slightly improved, receiving an 'E-' and 'D' respectively.

A member of the independent panel, Judge Catherine McGuinness, called for the abolition of the Direct Provision system, which prevented children from experiencing basic rights such as enjoying meals prepared by their parents.

Anti-homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry told the launch of the Children's Rights Alliance's annual report card the homeless children figure "could be 3,000 this time next year unless some action is taken to prevent these evictions".  

He told RTÉ News that two problems need to be addressed: finding homes for people who have none and preventing additional people from losing their homes.

"We need emergency legislation to prevent banks from evicting tenants after repossessing homes," he said.

He also called for the government's Mortgage to Rent Scheme - which has had a very low uptake by financial institutions - to  be made "normal and obligatory" when families are in mortgage arrears.

And he called for an expansion to the Government's recent modular housing initiative which is designed to take people out of emergency accommodation.