In 2018, €58.9 m has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services, an increase of €1.5m on 2017. The additional funding is being used for programmes that target disadvantaged young people and to assist national youth organisations in their work to support local voluntary youth services. Funding to staff led youth services has generally been targeted at areas of disadvantage and not in proportion to the youth population of a given area.
The Deputy will be aware that my Department is managing the most significant reform of youth services ever undertaken. This reform will provide an opportunity to identify need and to focus funding on young people most in need of intervention. Last year, I approved funding for the establishment of new youth projects and for the augmentation of a small number of existing youth services to meet new challenges arising from population increases and related identified needs.
Future development and investment in youth services will be informed by the mapping exercise completed last year, which mapped youth service provision across the State. This mapping will assist the Department and the relevant ETB in developing a detailed social demographic profile in terms of both population numbers and deprivation levels. My Department is committed to working with ETBs to identify need and explore ways to address this need where it emerges.