Minister of State with responsibility for Youth Justice, James Browne T.D. came to our Youth Service in Finglas to announce funding of almost €6.7m for over 50 Youth Diversion Projects (YDPs) nationwide.
Working with the Gardai and other community groups, Youth Diversion Projects aim to improve social inclusion, access to education, youth-friendly activities and positive social opportunities. Youth Diversion Projects engage with young people through various supports, including education, training and employment support, social enterprise initiatives, personal development, mentoring, and personal development activities.
Crosscare Projects have been allocated significant funding, which will have an enormous impact on our ability to reach out to young people and families in need of our support. It is expected that new roles will become available across Hard to Engage, Early Intervention, Family Support and in new projects which extend the boundaries of our catchment areas and increase our outreach to young people.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister Browne said: “Having visited many Youth Diversion Projects across the country during my time as Minister of State, I have seen first-hand the positive impact they have on both the young people who they welcome through their doors and the wider communities in which they are based. I am delighted to see such a significant allocation be dispersed to projects across the country. This money will help some projects extend their work into neighbouring communities, it will help some projects to devote specific resources to harder-to-engage children, and it will help some projects to appoint new or additional family support workers. This announcement follows the publication of the Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027 last year, which provides a developmental framework to address key ongoing challenges and new and emerging issues in the youth justice area.”
Responding to the news of the announcement, Ciara Murphy, Project Manager of Crosscare Youth Services in Finglas, said this funding would positively impact the lives of so many young people in the Finglas area.
Ciara said, “we work with young people from the age of 12 up to the age of 24. This funding will now allow us to engage young people from the age of 8 years. We engage young people and their families who face real challenges in their lives. We focus on helping young people and their families to reinforce positive behaviours and make good choices. Today’s announcement means we can support and expand our services and catchment area to more young people in Finglas South, East and West who will have access to Crosscare Youth Services at a critical time in their young lives.”
Geraldine Scott, Manager of our Youth Service in Swords, said the funding would allow the Youth Diversion Project to work with younger children on an early intervention basis which is very important.
She also said the pandemic, particularly the closure of schools during lockdown periods, had an adverse effect on some young people.
“A lot of young people are reporting anxiety and social anxiety in particular.”
The Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027 was published in April 2021, and a significant change in this Strategy is a new and expanded mandate for 105 YDPs across the State.