Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1367)

Thomas P. Broughan


1367. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the reform of the youth service grant scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19710/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

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. The funding schemes support national and local youth work involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff working in youth services and communities throughout the country.

These schemes include the Youth Service Grant Scheme under which funding is made available on an annual basis to thirty national and major regional youth organisations. This funding is intended to ensure the emergence, promotion, growth and development of youth organisations with distinctive philosophies and programmes aimed at the social education of young people. In 2019, I provided an additional 2.5% in funding to this scheme, bringing the total allocation to over €11m. My Department has commenced a review of the Youth Service Grant Scheme. This review is intended to modernise the scheme to enhance accountability, transparency and outcome measurement. It is also seeking to ensure the scheme responds to the ever-evolving needs of young people. The review includes annual finance and governance meetings with the organisations in receipt of the largest YSGS grants and desktop reviews to inform the development of the reform programme.

Engagement with the National Youth Council of Ireland and the youth sector is a key priority for DCYA. Twice annually I meet with National Youth Organisations in receipt of YSGS funding. My officials avail of these meetings to update the organisations of the progress to date and our broad intentions of the review process. On the 11th April 2019, I met with the National Youth Organisations in receipt of YSGS and this provided an opportunity for me to hear directly from the sector about the policy issues facing them which might be considered in the context of the developing the reform agenda.

The work of the review is ongoing, and my Department is committed to ongoing consultation with the youth sector in relation to this review.