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Written Answers -

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 446.  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  if adequate counselling services are available for children and teenagers with particular reference to those deemed to be at high risk; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24328/12]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Information on Frances Fitzgerald Zoom on Frances Fitzgerald Funding provided by my Department provides support to youth services which also offer a range of counselling supports to young people. Included in this is funding provided to a Teen Counselling service in Clondalkin which has been allocated funding of €53,329 for 2012. This funding is administered by County Dublin VEC on behalf of my Department.

Teen Counselling aims to provide a professional counselling service for young people and their families who are struggling with behavioural and emotional difficulties and to inform, support and complement the role of the State sector and other voluntary organisations. The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department has also reserved grant aid of up to €88,358 for 2012 towards the administration of the National Youth Health Programme. This programme is a partnership between my Department, the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and the Health Service Executive.

The aim of the programme is to provide a broad-based, flexible health promotion / education support and training service to youth organisations and to all those working with young people in out-of-school settings. The programme has sought to develop the capacity of the sector and organisations to advocate on issues that affect young people and develop evidenced based resources and training to support that work. The advantage of this training is evident in the fact that Youth Work often acts as the first point of contact and referral in the interface with other youth-related services spanning the realms of care, health and welfare.

The Family Support Agency under the remit of my Department administers a programme of grants for voluntary organisations that provide marriage and relationships, child and bereavement counselling services. In 2012, an amount of €9.413m has been allocated to this programme. The programme includes support for the provision of counselling services for children and young people, in particular for children and young people coping with the effects of parental separation and bereavement in their lives.

The Health Service Executive also provides counselling services to young people and I have asked the HSE to provide information on this to the Deputy.

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