Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Committee on Health and Children: Select Sub-Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Estimates for Public Services 2013
Vote 40 - Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Revised)

1:00 pm

Photo of Catherine ByrneCatherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I do not absolutely agree with Deputy Robert Troy. Many programmes and youth services have adjusted to their budgets. Most have told me that the cutback has not affected their programme of work with young people. I do not know what the figures are, but when I talk to people on the ground who are working in the services, they say they have a reduced budget and are using other initiatives to work with young people. They are not leaving them short of services or hours.

The Chairman mentioned the local drugs task forces. I am quite critical of the drugs services, particularly the national drugs task force model. I have said locally and again at the meeting this morning that we need a new model. I really believe the task forces are not doing what they should be doing. When they were first set up, they worked with families and locally, but now they have become large empires and organisations and there is a huge difference between the work they did when they started in the 1970s and what they are doing now. I told the Minister for Health this morning that I hoped with this new programme there would be a reconfiguration of these task forces because the people affected by them, particularly drug users or those on methadone, were not getting the service that they deserved. I would like to see them back under the umbrella of the HSE or to see a programme put in place somewhere in the medical service, particularly through GPs who have a lot to give to a programme for people on methadone. I hope this comes out in the study.


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