Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (639)

Fergus O'Dowd


639. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the legislative and policy measures available to tackle underage drinking; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52714/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department provides funding for universal youth work through the Youth Services Grant Scheme (YSGS) to a range of organisations, many of which provide support around alcohol and drugs. 

These organisations include:

- No Name! Club which provide positive alternatives to alcohol and drug-centred activities for young people

- National Youth Council of Ireland partner with DCYA and the HSE to run The National Youth Health Programme (NYHP) which builds capacity in the youth work sector around health and well-being capacity building

- SpunOut provide advice and information to young people of the youth workers and volunteers.  

€11.1m was allocated to the YSGS budget in 2019.

In addition to this, my Department administers funding for targeted youth funding through the Targeted Youth Funding Scheme, the revised scheme being launched this month and accounting for €38.5 million.  These funds are specifically directed towards supporting vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalised young people, many of whom are at greater risk of alcohol misuse, and/or underage drinking. 

Strategy to support young people in this area is overseen by overarching framework for the improving outcomes for children and young people Better Outcomes Brighter Futures (2014-2020), a key outcome of which is to for ensure that children and young people are Active and Healthy. 

This is also reflected in the constituent strategy the National Youth Strategy (2015-2020) which states as an objective that 'Young people enjoy a healthy lifestyle, in particular with regard to their physical, mental and sexual health and well-being'.