My Department is managing the most significant reform of youth services’ funding ever undertaken. This reform is informed by the 2014 Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Funding Programmes. This review made a number of recommendations for the future operation of youth schemes and their development in the years ahead to ensure an evidence-based and outcomes-focused programme designed to secure optimal outcomes for young people. The review recommended the development of a single targeted youth funding programme to replace previous schemes.
The new Targeted Youth Funding Scheme has allocated €35.18 million for 2019 to provide out of school supports to young people in their local communities, to enable them to overcome adverse circumstances and achieve their full potential by strengthening their personal and social competencies. Young people aged 10 to 24 years of age who are described in the National Youth Strategy as marginalised, disadvantaged or vulnerable are the primary target group for services available through the new scheme.
The reform of youth services’ funding provides an opportunity to focus funding on young people most in need of intervention. 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. This mapping is assisting the Department and ETBs in developing a detailed social demographic profile in terms of both population numbers and deprivation levels.
The City of Dublin Education and Training Board, via its Youth Services Board, is currently involved in a detailed Area Profiling, Needs Assessment and Service Requirement process for the entire city with a view to making recommendations to my Department for youth service requirements from 2020 onwards. Part of that process will include the identification of areas where no DCYA funded services currently exist with a view to commissioning new services in those areas.
Any identified service requirement where no service currently funded by the Department exists must be met following a fair and transparent commissioning process to ensure that all service providers, existing or potential, have a fair and equitable opportunity to apply for funding. This Department cannot predict what needs will be identified within Dublin City in advance of the CDETB completing the aforementioned area profiling, needs assessment and service requirement process.
All of this is dependent on availability of budget in 2020.