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Family Resource Centres

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Deputy Frances Fitzgerald

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Snippet Contents:

I agree with the Deputy on the value of the work being done. However, a core part of delivering our services is to reform certain aspects of them. While I said it was up to the local resource centres to decide how to deal with these budget cuts, they need to look at the areas I mentioned. However, the most important thing for us in Government is that the national finances should be in order and that we return to economic growth. When we are in that position the family resource centre programme will be a key area to develop. Such centres reach out to families at an early stage. Early intervention makes economic sense as well as personal and social sense for the people who receive the services. I hope the Deputy understands the situation we are in. We need to take the kind of action I have outlined. However, this is also a period of opportunity for the family resource centres with the new alignment and the new agency. That will be of benefit to their work and will bring coherence at local level to the work done by the child protection services and the family support work being done in communities. That alignment is vital in giving good services to children and families. I again thank the Deputy for raising the issue. I would be very happy to continue to visit family resource centres throughout the country, including in Deputy Bannon's constituency.