Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ceisteanna (201)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

201. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which her Department and bodies under her aegis maintain regular and adequate contact with the various youth groups throughout the country with particular reference to identifying their needs and taking onboard their anticipated requirements; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9236/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department maintains close contact with the national youth organisations and I and officials from my Department meet formally with these organisations twice a year to share knowledge and information on developments in the youth sector. A separate meeting is held on that day with national organisations in receipt of targeted youth funding to keep them updated on the ongoing work on the Value for Money and Policy Review reforms. 

Youth Officers of the Education and Training Boards  provide an important support role to my Department in the co-ordination and administration of youth services at local level across the country. In order to keep my Department informed of their ongoing work, officials hold quarterly meetings attended by all Youth Officers from across the country. These meetings assist my Department in identifying service needs, particularly for vulnerable young people.  The Youth Affairs Unit of my Department has set up a working group with five Youth Officers focussed on strategic planning for future capital funding for the youth sector.

My Department holds scheduled meetings with Youth Work Ireland twice a year in relation to the important work of this organisation. My officials have also attended a meeting of Youth Work Ireland Regional Directors and were pleased to accept an invitation to attend this meeting twice a year from now on. There is also ongoing active engagement between my Department and the youth constituency of the of the Better Outcomes Brighter Futures Advisory Council. A small number of national youth organisation representatives are members of this Council.

Officials from the Youth Affairs Unit are engaged with programmes run by the National Youth Council of Ireland such as the Youth Arts Strategic Review and Plan Advisory Steering Group and the National Health Programme Strategic Planning Working Group, both of which receive funding from my Department.

Officials from my Department also meet with youth organisations on an individual basis when the need arises.