Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar
Gnáthamharc

Youth Services.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 12 December 2006

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Ceisteanna (449, 450)

John Deasy

Ceist:

468 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Science the discussions she has had with the Department of Health and Children regarding a proposal (details supplied) to fund a youth worker in Tramore, County Waterford; if she will urge the Department to provide such funding; if the proposal is eligible for funding from her Department’s youth affairs’ budget; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42419/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

My Department has been in consultation with the Department of Health and Children concerning a proposal from Foróige to fund a youth worker in Tramore, Co. Waterford.

The Youth Affairs Section of my Department administers the Special Projects for Youth Scheme. Under this Scheme, grant-aid is made available on an annual basis to organisations and groups for specific projects which seek to address the needs of young people who are disadvantaged due to a combination of factors, e.g. social isolation, substance misuse and inadequate take-up of ordinary educational opportunities.

It is open to the organisation in question to submit an application for funding under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme in the 2007 round of grants. Any application received will be considered along with all other requests for funding having regard to the financial resources available and my Department's ongoing commitments in respect of existing youth work supports and initiatives.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

469 Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science if she has conducted an audit of the level of youth facilities and youth organisations across the country; if she has put initiatives in place that would seek to develop activities where there are significant gaps in existence and in particular where there is not an established nucleus of people to organise and develop programmes for young people; and if she will set out the benchmarks that she hopes to achieve over the remaining years of the youth strategy. [42420/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

My Department's Youth Affairs Section provides support for a number of schemes and initiatives designed to ensure the provision of non-formal educational opportunities for young people throughout the country. It provides grant-aid assistance for national and major regional youth organisations under the Youth Service Grant Scheme, for special projects for disadvantaged young people under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme and the Young People's Facilities and Services Fund. It also supports a range of other youth work programmes and initiatives inter alia Gaisce — the President's Award, Léargas — the Exchange Bureau and the National Youth Health Programme.

Under the terms of the Youth Work Act, 2001, Vocational Education Committees (VECs) are to assume certain responsibilities for the provision of youth work programmes and services at local level including the drafting of three-year youth work development plans for their area. In drafting such plans, VECs are required to liaise with local youth work organisations and interests to ascertain the existing service provision and to identify any possible gaps or emerging needs. In 2006 I have assigned a number of youth officer posts to the VEC sector to carry out the designated VEC functions of the Act at local level. The additional resources being provided to the VECs will facilitate a coordinated and appropriate youth work response to local needs.

My Department recently appointed an Assessor of Youth Work. The Assessor will support the development of good youth work practice by monitoring and evaluating youth work projects and programmes supported by my Department. At present, the Assessor in consultation with the National Youth work Advisory Committee, NYWAC, is developing an Assessment/Quality Standards Framework. In a related development, my Department is at present in the process of establishing a National Youth Work Development Unit in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, NUIM, with a remit of researching and developing guidelines for best practice in youth work, and managing and coordinating research as well as piloting innovation and new initiatives.

Barr
Roinn