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Written Answers - Youth Services

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 100.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald  the extent to which she has access to the necessary resources to develop a comprehensive range of youth support services in line with any deliberations she has had with existing service providers in this area; if any particular issues have arisen; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23987/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald My Department provides a range of funding schemes, programmes and supports to the youth sector. These include the Youth Service Grant Scheme, the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund (Rounds 1 and 2) and certain other provisions including the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, Youth Information Centres, European Youth in Action Programme (administered by Léargas — The Exchange Bureau) and Gaisce — the President’s Award.

The main objectives of my Department are to develop and implement coherent, coordinated and relevant youth policies and strategies to support the youth sector in providing effective non-formal education and developmental opportunities for young people through which they can enhance and develop their personal and social skills and competencies. Funding of some €56.806m for current expenditure and €1.5m for capital expenditure is available from my Department in 2012 to support the provision of youth services and programmes. In determining financial allocations to initiatives and schemes in 2012 officials from my Department have met with representatives of the youth sector on an ongoing basis with a view to determining how best to minimise the impact of the reduction in the 2012 budget on youth services. It is intended to hold further meetings with these representatives during 2012 in order to assist the Department in formulating its thinking for the allocation of funding in 2013 in a cohesive and effective manner having regard to the difficult fiscal situation in which we find ourselves. As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I am committed to the development of a new youth policy framework which my Department is currently progressing. Through this work a clear policy framework will emerge that will aim to enhance the development, participation and support of young people. I intend that the policy framework will also facilitate and promote co-ordination and coherence across departments and front line youth services and will set out the priorities, rationale and criteria for future funding programmes. This will ensure that the funding available in future years will be used as effectively as possible.

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