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Update: Funding for Youth Support Services, 4th August 2015

4th August 2015 - Bernard Durkan TD


DÁIL QUESTION  addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Dr. James Reilly)
by Deputy Bernard J. Durkan
for WRITTEN ANSWER  on 08/07/2015    

 *  To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which he expects to be in a position to provide adequate funding to groups, bodies and agencies involved in the provision of youth support services; the extent to which he has identified specific short falls in this regard with a view to making adequate provision; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

                                                                                         Bernard J. Durkan T.D.

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities.  The funding schemes support national and local youth work provision to some 380,000 young people and involve approximately, 1,400 youth work staff in 477 projects and 40,000 volunteers working in youth work services and communities throughout the country.  In 2015, funding of €49.9 m was provided to my Department for these schemes. There was no reduction in the funding for the youth services in 2015 which was a key priority for the national voluntary youth organisations.

My Department is developing a new National Youth Strategy 2015 €“ 2020. It will be a universal strategy for all young people aged 10 to 24 years. It will have a particular focus on those who are most disadvantaged or at risk and who have the poorest outcomes and therefore in most need of support.

This new strategy takes account of the social and economic factors that influence young people’s situation, and the important roles that parents, families, friends, other adults and communities play in their lives. Its development is informed by national and European policy developments and the results of a national consultation  process. This process involved over 3,500 people, including 2,000 young people under age 25, the youth sector, NGOs working with young people, Education and Training Boards, Government departments, agencies, business and academia and other youth interests.

The Strategy will identify key objectives to be achieved for young people so that they may be active and healthy, achieving their full potential in learning and development, safe and protected from harm, have economic security and opportunity and be connected and contributing to their world.  It will identify a number of priority actions to be delivered by stakeholders including Government departments, state agencies and by the NGO sector over the years 2015 to 2017.

The question of additional funding for the youth services is a matter for consideration in the context of the resources made available to my Department  in the estimates and budgetary process and having regard to the priorities identified in the new National Youth Strategy for 2014-2020. My Department is working to finalise the new National Youth Strategy and it is anticipated that it may be available in the coming weeks.

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