My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities. The funding schemes support national and local youth work involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff working in youth services and communities throughout the country.
In 2019, €60.4m has been allocated in current funding to support the provision of youth services, an increase of €1.5m on 2018. The additional funding is being used for programmes that target disadvantaged young people and to assist national youth organisations in their work to support local voluntary youth services. Funding to staff led youth services has generally been targeted at areas of disadvantage and not in proportion to the youth population of a given area. Funding allocations for 2019 are currently being finalised by the Youth Affairs Unit of my Department. Letters of allocation will issue shortly.
In 2018, an amount of €539,282 was allocated for the projects and services under Kildare Youth Services, which operates under Youth Work Ireland. My Department provides funding to Kildare Youth Services under the Targeted Youth Funding Scheme in respect of six local youth projects in Athy, Naas, Leixlip, Newbridge, the Curragh and Kildare town and a Youth Information Centre in Naas.
Future development and investment in youth services will be informed by the mapping exercise completed in 2017, which mapped youth service provision across the State as well as an Area Profiling, Needs Assessment and Service Requirement tool currently being used by Kildare Wicklow ETB. This mapping and tool will assist the Department and the relevant ETB in developing a detailed social demographic profile in terms of both population numbers and deprivation levels. My Department is committed to working with Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board to identify need and explore ways to address this need where it emerges.