The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports around 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model, with funding provided as a contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. More than €46 million is available through the programme in 2019.
The CSP currently co-funds the salaries of some 1,660 FTEs and 300 manager posts in community organisations. Between part-time and full-time positions, the CSP will support around 3,000 people this year.
My Department commenced a review of the CSP earlier this year. The review is examining how the programme fits with overall Government priorities, as well as with my Department’s other community programmes and policy objectives, and will help inform decisions on the future shape and structure of the programme.
The review is being carried out by an independent reviewer, Indecon Consultants. The reviewer has commenced consultation with key stakeholders, including all CSP supported organisations. The review will take six months to complete, with a final report expected in early Autumn 2019.
I am committed to continuing the CSP beyond 2019 and the recommendations from the review will shape the programme going forward. In the meantime, my Department continues to accept expressions of interest from organisations, with funding for new organisations considered in light of available budgets during the year.