The remit of the recently established Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (RISF) Board is different to that of the former Education Finance Board. The RISF will oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million, pledged by the religious congregations, to support the needs of survivors of institutional child abuse, across a range of services, including mental health services, health and personal social services, education and housing services.
The position in relation to the Education Finance Board is that it was dissolved with effect from 29th March. The funding available to the Board has been fully allocated and its remaining functions have been taken over by the RISF Board. The former Education Finance Board indicated in November 2011 that it expected that the funds available to it would be fully allocated on applications already received and accordingly it publicised that it would not be in a position to process any applications received after 30th November, 2011.
In accordance with the relevant legislation, the RISF Board will determine the criteria by reference to which it will make decisions in respect of applications to it. Those who are eligible to receive support from the Fund are the some 15,000 former residents who have received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or equivalent Court awards.
The Board held its inaugural meeting on 27th March and has commenced work on the arrangements to be put in place for the operation of the Fund. Further publicity will be undertaken as the work of the Board progresses and a website with detailed information on the Fund's services will be developed. This information will advise potential applicants on how to apply for assistance from the Fund.