Youth Officers of the Education and Training Boards, including Kildare Wicklow ETB, provide an important support role to my Department in the co-ordination and administration of youth services at local level across the country. In order to keep my Department informed of their ongoing work, officials hold quarterly meetings attended by all Youth Officers from across the country. These meetings assist my Department in identifying service needs and emerging issues, particularly for vulnerable young people. The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department has set up a working group with five Youth Officers focussed on strategic planning for future capital funding for the youth sector.
My Department also maintains close contact with the national youth organisations and I and officials from my Department meet formally with these organisations twice a year to share knowledge and information on developments in the youth sector.
My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities.
In 2018, €58.9 m has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services. In 2018, a provisional allocation of €539,283 has been made for the projects and services under Kildare Youth Services, which operates under Youth Work Ireland. My Department provides funding to Kildare Youth Services under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme in respect of six local youth projects in Athy, Naas, Leixlip, Newbridge, the Curragh and Kildare town and a Youth Information Centre in Naas.
In addition, I am pleased to approve the establishment the Capital Funding Scheme in 2018. The primary focus of this scheme will be to provide small to medium capital grants to qualifying youth projects which are in receipt of funding from DCYA. Some €2m has been made available nationally, and eligible youth projects in Kildare can make an application through Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board.