Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (192)

Joan Collins


192. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason Dublin 12 was overlooked for the provision of a family resource centre (details supplied). [21566/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency is responsible for the administration of the Family Resource Centre Programme.

Family Resource Centres are independent voluntary organisations that deliver universal services to families in local communities, based on a life-cycle approach. The centres seek to combat disadvantage and to provide a wide range of family supports.

In Budget 2018, I secured an additional €3.0m for Tusla to support the Family Resource Centre Programme. The additional funding provided is being used to support existing Family Resource Centres, and also provides for expansion of the Programme with the inclusion of 11 new centres, which means that 120 centres will be operational by the end of 2018.

A high volume of applications were submitted to Tusla, who carried out an assessment process. One of these was from an organisation in the Dublin 12 area. Tusla was faced with a difficult decision making process in selecting eleven new centres for inclusion in the programme, having regard to its selection criteria. The assessment included consultation with Tusla staff in operational and regional roles, and with Children and Young People's Services Committees around the country.

Tusla has advised me that the quality of applications received was of a very high standard. The methodology and criteria considered in selecting the locations of the 11 new family resource centres included the size and make-up of the geographical area; the social and economic conditions of the specified area; and the overall population breakdown of the area that would be serviced by the centre. The criteria also considered the structure of the organisation(s) applying to the Programme; their objectives, targets, and current relationships with other organisations; and the inclusion of available research, community projects, and needs assessments with the application.

Tusla is acutely aware of the level of need in certain areas, and is actively working to improve outcomes for children and young people. Through its commissioning approach, Tusla plans to deliver, and is already delivering, services in an efficient, equitable and sustainable manner.

It is important that the needs of children and families are met in the best way possible, particularly in areas of disadvantage. I will continue to support the work of Family Resource Centres and family support services throughout the country.