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Senator


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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone)

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Katherine Zappone

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Snippet Contents:

The Deputy's question refers to a specific centre which I understand operates as an independent company limited by guarantee. The centre is governed by a Board of Management that is representative of the local community. The centre provides a range of services, and receives financial support from my Department, Tusla the Child and Family Agency, and various other public bodies.
The centre provides a range of activities designed to strengthen positive informal social networks through community based programmes and services. The main focus of services is on early intervention to promote and protect the health, well-being of children, young people and their families.
The centre in question has also developed an access centre which provides services to children in care and their families. I understand from Tusla that demand from family law courts, guardians ad litem, and other parties has led to pressures being placed on the service, and that while the access centre has some additional capacity, it is not in a position to satisfy the increased demand.
The centre referred to by the Deputy has received funding from Tusla of €144,060 this year. An additional €26,000 was also provided by Tusla to the centre in recent months, bringing the total funding allocation to over €170,000 in 2017.
The centre has also received funding of €295,055 from my Department under the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme and the Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) Programme in 2017.
Funding is also provided by my Department, via Cork City Education and Training Board, through the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund, which aims to develop youth facilities and services in disadvantaged areas. Funding through this scheme in 2017 amounts to a total of €30,530.
I am not familiar with the detail of the overall financial position of the centre in question, but I note the concern expressed by the Deputy with regard to sustainability. In situations such as this, decisions with regard to future funding levels for individual service providers are informed by the business case put forward by the provider in question, and an assessment of service need in the locality in question undertaken by the relevant funding authorities. It is important that this process is undertaken and completed in order to allow for an informed assessment to be made on the funding issue raised, having regard to available resources and competing priorities.