Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
410. Deputy Pádraic McCormack asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the position of the sanctioning of the application by Galway City Partnership for funding for the provision of a family resource centre in Ballinfoyle, Galway City; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40775/08]
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): I am committed to supporting families and value the role that the Family Resource Centres play in communities all over the country. Funding from the Family Support Agency helps with staffing and equipping these centres. By the end of 2007, the number of Family Resource Centres had expanded from an original 10 to 106 nationwide. The funding for the Programme increased from €317,000 in 1994 to nearly €19 million in 2007.
In the context of the National Development Plan, it was intended to expand the number of Family Resource Centres by up to 6 centres this year and to provide some existing ones with additional staff. The organisation referred to by the Deputy is one of the projects that have applied for inclusion in the Family Resource Centre Programme and that meet the criteria. However, as part of the Government’s collective approach to controlling short-term expenditure in the interests of Ireland’s future prosperity, with the exception of a new centre in Killeshandra that was approved earlier this year, no new Family Resource Centres will open in 2008. It will also not be possible to increase the staffing complement of the existing centres.
Government support for family services will however remain strong. Last year, additional staff were funded for 40 Family Resource Centres. It should also be noted that in June I approved counselling grants of almost €11 million to 600 voluntary and community groups supporting families nationwide.
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