QUESTION NO: 147
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 his Department engages with voluntary and local groups and youth services throughout the country with a view to providing positive and supportive assistance to young persons; 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 €49.9m has been provided to my Department for these schemes.
I, and officials of my Department have met, and continue to meet, regularly with many youth organisations and groups to see how we can work together to bring about the best possible outcomes for young people, having regard to resources available to us and to ensure that the programmes and services being provided are relevant and responsive to young people’s needs. Ongoing engagement and dialogue with the youth sector organisations and with young people themselves are priorities in the development of the policies and services to support young people’s development and learning.
My Department is developing a new National Youth Strategy. It will be a universal strategy for all young people aged 10-24 years and will have a particular focus on those young people who are most marginalised or at risk and who have the poorest outcomes and therefore who are most in need of support.
The National Youth Strategy is almost finalised. It has been developed in close consultation with statutory youth interests and the voluntary youth organisations and services that work with young people. A National Youth Strategy Task Group, convened by my Department and chaired by the Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland is overseeing the development of the strategy. This Task Group comprises representatives of Government Departments, relevant agencies, business, academia and youth interests.
An Advisory Group, established by the National Youth Council of Ireland and comprising some 18 National Voluntary Youth Organisations also had an input to the Strategy. My Department further undertook a comprehensive consultation with youth stakeholders and young people on the priorities for the youth strategy . My Department is working to finalise the new National Youth Strategy in the coming weeks.