Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 89 - Youth services funding [36695/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 89 - Youth services funding [36695/15]. (21 Oct 2015)

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89. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs for a breakdown of funding for youth services and supports in west Wicklow from 2011 to 2015 to date; his plans to improve these services by providing, for example, a Garda Síochána diversion programme or outreach services, to address the growing demographic need and recent increased levels of young persons being out of school or engaging in drug and alcohol misuse. [36695/15]


Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy James Reilly):  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. It is estimated that the voluntary youth services throughout the country involve approximately, 1,400 youth work staff in 477 projects and 40,000 volunteers working in youth work services and communities throughout the country.


The overall allocation for the youth funding schemes in 2015 was €49.930m. I am pleased to tell the Deputy that Budget 2016 has provided an additional €1.1m in current funding for voluntary youth services. The increased funding will support the targeted programmes for young people who are at risk of drugs, alcohol misuse, homelessness, early school leaving and unemployment. It will also assist the national youth organisations to better support the local voluntary youth services. The Deputy may also be interested in the new Youth Employability Initiative, which I announced on the publication of the National Youth Strategy 2015-2020 and which will provide €600,000 in grants to the voluntary youth services for programmes that target disadvantaged young people to improve their employability. The new Youth Employability Initiative is funded under the Dormant Accounts Scheme. Full details of the Youth Employability Initiative, including the application form are available on my Department's website, www.dcya.gov.ie.


The National Youth Strategy 2015-2020 is a strategy for all young people and has a particular focus on young people who are disadvantaged. The Strategy identifies some fifty priority actions to be delivered by Government departments, state agencies and by others, including the voluntary youth services over 2015 to 2017. The roll-out of the National Youth Strategy is the key context within which my Department will implement the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Funding Programmes, in order to ensure that young people, particularly those who are vulnerable, have access to quality, effective programmes that respond to their need and are designed to secure good outcomes for them.


Details of the funding provided by my Department to the voluntary youth services in County Wicklow are being compiled and will be forwarded to the Deputy.


I have asked my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality, whose Department administers the funding of the Garda Youth Diversion projects to forward to the Deputy the funding details requested.

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