Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
299. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the reasons for the cuts in the funding for a service (details supplied) in Dublin 10; if her attention has been drawn to the implications of such cuts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9209/08]
300. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason for the cuts in the funding for a centre (details supplied) in Dublin 10; if her attention has been drawn to the implications of such cuts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9210/08]
As the Deputy will be aware there are already a number of youth cafés in operation around the country. Funding for these existing initiatives such as the Base is provided through a number of bodies including local City/County Council and Health Service Executive. The Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs also operate a number of relevant funding programmes aimed at supporting community development, locally based community and voluntary groups as well as programmes aimed specifically at supporting projects for disadvantaged youth.
At this stage, my focus is to bring better coherence to the approach taken to date, retaining the strong inter-agency element and identifying an appropriate model(s) for youth cafés for future developments. Since September my office has undertaken a small survey of some of the existing cafés looking at mission/objectives, management and organisation, service levels and the role of young people. I requested the National Children’s Advisory Council’s advice on the development of a youth café model and research work has been commissioned by the Council in this regard. I am anticipating the Council will be in a position to report to me by the end of May. This work will guide government in ensuring that funding is targeted and co-ordinated most effectively on a model or models of youth cafés which meet the needs identified by young people themselves. Discussions are underway with my Cabinet colleagues regarding a youth café programme and appropriate funding mechanisms. I am considering which agency could best lead on the programme and how to ensure any funding which might be made available augments, without displacing, the existing inter-agency resources.
The Base in Ballyfermot is receiving sponsorship from six bodies including Dublin City Council, the National Development Plan and the HSE. Of those agencies, HSE is the only current funder under the remit of the Minister for Health and Children. I have referred the specific question regarding funding of the Base to the HSE for direct reply.
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