On budget day, I was pleased to announce that I had secured additional resources of almost €3 million to support the work of existing family resource centres, and to facilitate the inclusion of an additional 11 community organisations to the family resource centre programme. I have increased the budget for these centres from €13.5 million in 2017 to just over €16.5 million this year.
Tusla administers the family resource centre programme. Applications to the programme opened on 23 October 2017. The final deadline for receipt of these applications was 20 December 2017. Tusla has confirmed that it has received a total of 43 applications, two of which are from County Kildare.
Tusla is currently assessing all applications. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the assessment in March. In assessing the applications, Tusla has indicated its evaluation process will take account of a range of factors, including the size and population of the catchment area, the degree of economic disadvantage in the area, the existing distribution of services in the area and the ability of applicants to deliver good outcomes for children and families.
In addition to supporting the establishment of 11 new family resource centres, I am making additional funding of up to €10,000 available to each existing centre. This will take account of service needs in each area. Tusla local offices will be happy to work with each family resource centre in this regard.
Family resource centres play an important role in supporting children and families in local communities. I was pleased to be able to make additional resources available to support them in 2018. I look forward to the outcome of the process now under way which will lead to the provision of 11 extra family resource centres under budget 2018.