The allocated budget for Garda Youth Diversion Projects in 2019 is approximately €15.3m and increase of 10% would bring the allocation to approximately €16.83m. This provision includes funding to support the operation of 106 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) currently. These projects are community-based multi-agency crime prevention initiatives which primarily seek to divert young people who have become involved in crime/anti-social behaviour.
For 2019, there is a renewed emphasis on preventative work by GYDPs, looking at the child in the context of the specific family and the specific community. This includes family support work and working with children aged 8 to 11.
In additional to local projects, the Department also supports pilot projects, to help develop better approaches in areas such as engagement with hard-to-reach or more challenging children, as well as mentoring initiatives. The operation of GYDPs is being further developed through an Action Research Project, (ARP) supported by the University of Limerick, which is currently engaging with 15 local projects. It is envisaged that the ARP will run over a number of years with a view to rolling out the learning to all GYDPs and developing the project network so that every child in the State who might require GYDP services will have access to them.