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Youth Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (63)

Cathal Crowe


63. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will assist an organisation (details supplied) to overcome some of the financial difficulties it has experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. [59198/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

My Department provides substantial funding to this organisation, which plays an important role in providing young people with opportunities for developmental experiences and informal learning.  All of the youth funding provided by my Department has been maintained fully throughout the ongoing period of restrictions. The ongoing management of this organisation is a matter for its Board, including the financial challenges being presented due to Covid-19.

I secured an increase of €5 million in funding for youth services in 2021 and 2022. The additional funding allocated to youth services in 2021 and 2022 will support the delivery of universal and targeted youth services nationwide, with a particular view to the role played by youth services in fostering resilience and developing the social and personal competencies of young people.  

This year I announced two Covid-19 Minor Grant Schemes to support youth services, youth clubs, and the national youth organisations. The Covid-19 Minor Grant Scheme for Youth Services and Youth Clubs was announced in June 2021 and €1.4m was dispersed among the 16 Education and Training Boards for local administration to the youth services and clubs within their functional areas.

The Covid-19 Minor Grant Scheme for National Youth Organisations in September 2021 made €1m available for distribution between the national youth organisations. This sought to defray additional Covid-19 costs, the cost of re-engaging volunteers in universal services, and made a contribution towards funding gaps emerging as services reopened in line with public health guidance. The organisation referred to by the deputy received €110,000 through this Scheme.

My officials are in regular contact with youth sector representatives in relation to the impact of the pandemic and associated health restrictions. It is of importance that Exchequer funding to youth services nationally is protected. I am satisfied that Government has been able to continue to support them. My officials will continue to work closely with youth organisations and will actively monitor the situation. We very much appreciate the challenges Covid-19 has posed and is posing for them.