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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 35 - National Drugs Strategy implementation [Youth] [22965/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 35 - National Drugs Strategy implementation [Youth] [22965/16]. (21 Jul 2016)

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35. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will consider a role in co-ordinating and progressing the prevention and education arm of the national drug strategy in respect of children and young persons which currently involved a number of Departments. [22965/16]

 

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Minister of State with responsibility for the Drugs Strategy and Communities has overall responsibility for coordinating the National Drugs Strategy across Government Departments. My Department has a key role in the prevention arm of the current National Drugs Strategy 2009- 2016. In 2016, funding of €51m (current) and €3m (capital) has been allocated to my Department to support the provision of youth services, by the voluntary youth sector, to young people throughout the country, including those from disadvantaged communities. Some 380,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years participate in youth services. The 250 local projects funded under the Young People's Facilities and Services Fund and the Local Drugs Task Force Projects scheme are targeted at young people who are ‘at risk’ of drugs in disadvantaged areas.

 

My Department is a member of the Oversight Forum on the National Drugs Strategy, which oversees progress with the Strategy.

 

The Deputy will be aware that the Department of Health has set up a Steering Committee, comprising all stakeholders to advise on the development of a new National Drugs Strategy to come into effect in 2017 when the current Strategy ends. My Department is actively involved in the development of the new Strategy. My aim is to work closely with the Minister of State and with the Oversight Forum on Drugs in its development and implementation.

 

The National Drugs Strategy is a key commitment in Better Outcomes Brighter Futures- the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014- 2020 and a priority action in the National Youth Strategy 2015-2020. I plan to utilise the role of the Better Outcomes Brighter Futures structures for coordination across government and services so that we increase the National Drugs Strategy’s effectiveness in securing good outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

 

 

Answer to answer 39. …….. In relation to youth services, my Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of services to young people throughout the country. Targeted programmes support the provision of youth services for young people who are at risk of drugs and/or alcohol misuse, early school-leaving, homelessness or who are living in disadvantaged communities. Overall, 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 2016, funding of €51 million has been secured by my Department for these schemes……

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