The issue raised by the Family Resource Centre Community Development Project in St. Michael’s Estate, Inchicore, relates to the Community Lynks Special Drugs Community Employment (CE) scheme which is funded by the Department. The Operating Procedures for CE schemes outline the required ratios of supervision to number of participants; 1 to 25 participants on mainstream CE projects. Where the number of participants exceeds 25, an assistant supervisory post can be approved. However CE schemes involved in the drug rehabilitation strand have a lower participant to supervisor ratio due to the different nature of the clients participating on those schemes. The standard ratio is 7 drugs rehabilitation-referred participants and 2 mainstream participants to 1 supervisory post for dedicated drugs rehabilitation schemes. This adjusted ratio was agreed, in consultation with statutory, community and voluntary sector representatives, under the nine special conditions to support the delivery of drug rehabilitation places on CE.
Departmental officials met with representatives from the Community Lynks Special Drugs CE scheme on Thursday 27 February 2014 to discuss matters in relation to a particular situation that has arisen in the scheme; a six month contract for a temporary supervisory post was a due for completion on Friday 7 March 2014. However, this has been extended for one month to facilitate the scheme with regard to maintaining a sufficient number of participants to warrant this post. The matter will then be reviewed.
Departmental officials also confirmed to the Community Lynks CE scheme representatives that there will be no change in the numbers of places on the scheme at 40 approved places; the scheme currently has 36 participants. The scheme has been asked to review the intake of participants to ensure the sustainability of take-up of places on to the scheme. Furthermore, officials have advised the scheme that approval for additional places will be sanctioned if the sponsors show a demand for such places.