Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (540)

Seán Kyne

Question:

540. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will report on the progress of addressing the issues raised by an organisation (details supplied) from County Galway. [30609/13]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Youth Affairs Unit of 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.

Óige na Gaeltachta was established in 2006 and provides youth services to over 50 youth clubs in Gaeltacht regions and over 2000 young people from 7 to 18 years. The organisation receives funding from Údarás na Gaeilge and is not in receipt of funding under the Youth Affairs budget of my Department.

The savings required under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure in respect of 2013 amounted to €5.393m which equated to almost a 10% reduction on 2012 funding available for the provision of youth services. The savings required in 2014 in the youth budget under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure amount to €2.976m. In light of budgetary constraints, the focus in 2013 and 2014 is on consolidating and maintaining, insofar as possible, the level of existing programmes and services for young people. In these circumstances, my Department is not in a position to consider any additional applications for funding.

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.

My Department is also developing a new youth policy framework for publication later this year. The new youth policy framework will aim to enhance the provision of youth services and activities and it 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.