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Child and Youth Services

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Child and Youth Services

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Senator


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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)

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Frances Fitzgerald

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Snippet Contents:

My Department has responsibility for a range of policy and service activities, both direct and indirect for children and young people in Ireland. This responsibility includes the provision of a number of services for children and young people and a comprehensive research programme that includes the Growing Up in Ireland Survey and the State of the Nations Children report which provide information to inform policy development to secure improved outcomes for children and young people. Some €439m has been allocated in 2013 to my Department for these services and programmes.
In keeping with these responsibilities for children and young people, my Department is developing a new Children and Young People's Policy Framework which will comprehend the needs and objectives for children and young people throughout their life-course from infancy through to early and middle childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. It will use a model in which the lives of children and young people will be supported by three age-cohort strategies:
National Early Year's Strategy - focusing on the under sixes
National Children's Strategy - focusing on all up to 18 years old
National Youth Strategy - focusing on the age range 10/12 years up to 25 years.
Consultations have taken place with the public and with children and young people themselves and they are ongoing with the National Children's Advisory Committee (NCAC). Consultations with other Government Departments are expected to be completed in the coming months. The intention is to identify common priorities in areas such as health and well being, education, economic security and poverty, parenting and family support, environment, safety,sports and recreation and media, arts and culture.
With regard to funding for youth services, my Department provides a range of funding schemes, programmes and supports to the youth sector. Funding of some €53.498m is available in 2013 to support the provision of youth services and programmes to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities. Targeted supports for disadvantaged, marginalised and at risk young people are provided through the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund Rounds 1 and 2 and Local Drugs Task Force Projects. These funding schemes support national and local youth work provision to some 400,000 young people and involve approximately 1,400 paid staff and 40,000 volunteers working in youth work services and communities throughout the country.
A comprehensive Value for Money and Policy Review of youth funding has been commenced in my Department and it is anticipated that the findings of this report will inform the future development of youth programmes and services. It will also inform the national youth strategy under the Children and Young People's Policy Framework which will, inter alia, promote co-ordination between government departments and youth sector organisations with a view to maximising the effectiveness of the State funding available to support services for young people in future years.