Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (675, 676)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

675. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice the reason for the reduction in the number of Garda youth diversion projects in the Dublin metropolitan region, north central area, from five in 2015 down to three in 2020; the details of the locations of these programmes in 2015 and 2020; her plans to extend the Garda youth diversion project in the north inner city; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7232/21]

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Seán Sherlock

Question:

676. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice the number of full-time equivalent youth justice workers, family support and early intervention posts that are employed for each of the three Garda youth diversion projects in the Dublin metropolitan region, north central area; the average number of full-time equivalent posts in each of the Garda youth diversion projects nationally; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7233/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 675 and 676 together.

I am informed that funding in Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR), North Central Division for Garda Youth Diversion Projects and activities has increased from €566,236 in 2018 to an allocation of €1.2m in 2021. Alongside this increase in funding, the currently funded projects are being provided with increased staffing and support to increase their catchment areas to cover the majority of the DMR, North Central area. This is part of the overall objective of my Department to increase and develop the Garda Youth Diversion Project (GYDP) network to ensure access to all young people that need the service nationally.

The reduced number of projects in the DMR, North Central area since 2015 is due to the cessation of funding to the Dime and Nickol GYDPs.

The Deputy may be interested to know that there are currently 105 GYDPs nationwide. The intention is to further develop this service so that it is available to every child in the State who could benefit from it, through an ongoing expansion of existing services and the foundation of new projects where necessary.

I am informed that the average national number of full time equivalent posts in a GYDP is 2.8 posts, with an average of 6.7 posts in the DMR North Central Area. Currently there is funding available for 20 workers in the combined GYDPs within the DMR, North Central area. This includes a range of different posts including 14 General Youth Justice Workers, 2 Youth Justice Workers who specialise working with the Roma community, 2 Family Support Workers, 1 Early Intervention Worker and 1 Project Leader. A full breakdown of these numbers per project is set out in the Table below.

PROJECT

GARDA DISTRICT

Year Closed

Youth Justice Workers

Roma Workers

Family Support workers

Early intervention worker

Project leader

HAY

Fitzgibbon St

N/A

5

1

1

Most

Fitzgibbon St

N/A

5

2*

Swan

Store Street

N/A

4

1

1

Dime

Fitzgibbon St

2015

Nickol

Fitzgibbon St

2019

*serving Dublin 1 and 2

My Department is supporting the ongoing development of practice in Garda Youth Diversion Projects through the Action Research Project led by the University of Limerick. The Action Research Project works directly with front-line Youth Justice Workers from local projects to develop interventions and best practice. Based on initial outcomes from the Action Research Project, and evaluations of a number of pilot projects, it is intended to develop proposals to expand the existing services. This would ensure national coverage and a stronger focus on difficult issues such as the hard-to-reach cohort.

These issues are addressed in the draft Youth Justice Strategy 2020-2026, which I intend to finalise and bring to Government shortly.