Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (439, 440)

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

439. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will investigate the possibility of increasing investment in youth work in advance of budget 2020 to enable youth organisations to deliver enhanced youth work services to support young persons in County Kilkenny; if she will consider increasing the 2% allocation of overall funding within her Department to support youth work services through budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41129/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bobby Aylward

Ceist:

440. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will consider increasing the funding allocation to the youth service grant scheme which supports 30 voluntary youth organisations to deliver mainstream youth work and to support local youth groups, branches and units through Budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41130/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 439 and 440 together.

As the Deputy is aware the annual Estimates process is ongoing. It would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time as funding for the provision of youth services, amongst other areas, is under consideration and, as might be expected, is subject to resources. I have enhanced investment in youth service provision each year since I took office, increasing current funding for youth services by an additional €8.5 million in the last three years. This represents an increase of 16% compared to 2016 . Included in this funding under the Youth Service Grant Scheme has increased by almost 10% since 2016, rising to €11.126m in 2019. In addition, I have taken on board the findings of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Programmes. I am prioritising the implementation of an integrated funding scheme as recommended by this Review. Consultations with a wide range of stakeholders are continuing with a view to introducing this targeted youth funding scheme as soon as possible. In 2019, my Department is providing €60.4 million to support youth work services across Ireland. This funding is being deployed across a broad range of programmes supporting the provision of youth services throughout the country, with a specific focus on services in communities in areas considered to be disadvantaged based on the deprivation index. With the invaluable assistance of each Education and Training Boards and national organisations, the funding from my Department supports national and local youth programmes involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff working in communities across the country, as well as some 1,500 youth clubs nationally.