Over 121 family resource centres, FRCs, provide an invaluable service to children and families. I have provided money for FRCs to employ an extra 17 staff.
Tusla provides financial support to FRCs to fund the salaries of a core staff complement and to cover some of their overheads.
I have allocated an additional €4.5 million in funding for the family resource centre programme between 2018 and 2019. This allowed for increases in core funding for each centre, as well as the establishment of 11 new FRCs last year which are now fully operational.
Many FRCs have financial and staff resources significantly in excess of the core resources provided by Tusla. Tusla’s funding for FRCs in 2019 amounts to €18 million. FRCs also receive resources from local authorities, the HSE, education and training boards, ETBs, and others.
I am aware of service pressures in some FRCs throughout the country and I have met representatives of a number of FRCs regarding funding and their wish to increase staffing levels.
Tusla engages directly with FRCs and their representative body with regard to service and staffing pressures.
Each FRC has a voluntary board of management, which is responsible for the recruitment of its employees and the terms and conditions under which they are employed.
I highly value the family resource centre programme and was pleased to secure an additional €1.5 million in funding for the programme this year. I recently announced that this additional funding will be used to: increase core funding to each of the 110 family resource centres which existed pre-2018 by 5%; employ an additional 17 family support workers, where one family resource centre in each of the 17 Tusla geographical areas will receive funding to employ a family support worker; and fund the family resource centre suicide prevention and mental health promotion programme.