Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Ceisteanna (204)

Róisín Shortall


204. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the reason for the disparity between the 11 new family resource centres recently established and some of the existing resource centres (details supplied) in which the level of disadvantage and need is extremely high; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27108/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, administers the Family Resource Centre Programme.

Acting as a focal point within their communities, Family Resource Centres provide a holistic service of child, family and community support and advocacy to all children and families in their communities.

Tusla has advised that funding for individual Family Resource Centres can differ, depending on a range of factors, including:

- the size and population of the catchment area,

- the degree of economic disadvantage in the area, and

- the existing distribution of services in the area.

I have been advised by Tusla that the centre to which the Deputy refers has been allocated funding of €120,542 in 2018, which is an increase of €10,000 over 2017.

A number of Family Resource Centres which fall under the remit of Tusla's Family Resource Centre Programme are working with people who are experiencing homelessness and many have developed local responses to the needs of families in emergency accommodation. The range of services provided include family fun days, homework support, after school programmes, play therapy and transport services. 

In 2017, there were 109 Family Resource Centres in receipt of funding from Tusla. Tusla was provided with additional funding of some €3m in 2018 for the Family Resource Centre Programme. This investment has enabled Tusla to expand the Programme with the inclusion of 11 additional centres, bringing the total number of Family Resource Centres to 120. Additional funding of up to €10,000 was also allocated to the existing 109 Family Resource Centres this year.

Decisions with regard to funding levels in 2019 will be taken in the context of the Estimates process.  It is not possible therefore at this stage to advise on what level of funding will be available to the Family Resource Centre Programme next year. 

I strongly value the work of Family Resource Centres in communities throughout Ireland, and I will be making the case for a continued investment in the centres in 2019 and beyond. I will continue to support the centres in the valuable work they do, working with vulnerable children and families, particularly in areas of disadvantage.