My Department maintains close contact with the 30 national youth organisations we fund 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.
Most recently I met with the National Youth Organisations on 2nd December 2019. An additional meeting was held on that day with the National Organisations in receipt of targeted youth funding to keep them updated on the ongoing reform of youth funding.
Youth Officers of the Education and Training Boards provide an important support role to my Department in the co-ordination and administration of youth services at a local level across the country.
My officials hold scheduled meetings with the Youth Officers and Youth Liaison Officers in order to maintain an open dialogue. My Department has more recently endeavoured to engage with the ETBs on a more individual basis with a view to improve outcomes for young people.
My Department has also set up a working group with five Youth Officers which is focused on strategic planning for future capital funding for the youth sector.
There is ongoing active engagement between my Department and the youth constituency of the Better Outcomes Brighter Futures Advisory Council. A small number of youth organisation representatives are members of this Council.
Officials from my Department also meet with youth organisations on an individual basis when the need arises.
We have a professional, constructive working relationship with youth organisations, which my Department works hard to maintain.