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Youth Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (61)

Steven Matthews

Question:

61. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if his attention has been drawn to the ongoing issues facing a service (details supplied); and if he will consider facilitating a meeting with management to discuss their concerns. [59238/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

1.)  Funding for the provision of targeted youth services is administered on behalf of my Department by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), which allocate funding via applications to the UBU Your Place Your Space scheme.  Youth Clubs which may require additional funding should contact their local ETB for further information and assistance. I also provide annual funding for universal youth services through the Youth Services Grant Scheme to 30 national youth organisations.  

      The Deputy will be aware that DCEDIY provides funding to all 16 Education and Training Boards (ETB) around the country to support youth services in their area and that each ETB has a Youth Officer. Youth Officers provide an important support role to my Department in the co-ordination and administration of youth services at local level. My officials hold quarterly meetings with them and these meetings assist my Department in identifying service needs and emerging issues, particularly for vulnerable young people. 

      A key tenet of the UBU scheme is the production of evidence of local need. In allocating funding under the scheme, each ETB carries out an Area Profile, Needs Assessment and Service Requirement process. This process draws upon quantitative and qualitative information to objectively identify the needs of young people within the ETB’s functional area. This analysis leads to the development of a Service Requirement, which is then used as the basis for discussion between ETBs and service providers in terms of service delivery to meet the needs of young people in the area. This approach ensures that DCEDIY can target supports to the young people most in need of intervention and that funding is allocated on the basis of evidenced need. 

As regards the Deputy's request to facilitate a meeting with this particular service, I would recommend that they discuss their issues with the relevant ETB in the first instance, consistent with the mid level governance structure in place for the administration of these schemes. Notwithstanding this, I would add that my officials and I are frequently in contact with this particular organisation at a national level in relation to the full range of issues affecting the sector and, as such, we enjoy an extremely valuable relationship with them.

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