Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Family Support Services.
John Browne (Minister of State, Department of Agriculture and Food; Wexford, Fianna Fail)
Hill Street family resource centre, based in inner-city Dublin, has been in receipt of funding since 2000 under the family and community services resource centre, FRC, programme, which is administered by the Family Support Agency. All FRCs are funded on the basis of three-year renewable contracts, subject to satisfactory progress being made. Under its current contract, Hill Street FRC received funding of €81,372 in 2003, €93,900 in 2004 and current year funding will amount to €93,000. Funding is also provided to the FRC from other sources.
The centre's current contract with the Family Support Agency expires at the end of 2005 and will then be subject to renewal in accordance with the normal terms and conditions of the programme. FRC performance over the contractual period is monitored on an ongoing basis. Where difficulties arise, the agency's policy is to work with all concerned to try to resolve them. Withdrawal of funding is rare and would only occur if all other efforts at resolution of the difficulty have been exhausted.
The agency is aware that the centre is experiencing some difficulties. Management of the centre has requested that the Family Support Agency become the lead agency for this project. The agency funds 77 centres in the family and community services resource centre programme and expects this number to increase to 100 by the end of 2006. It would not be in a position to become a lead agency for any family resource centre.
Staff from the agency met the management committee of Hill Street FRC on 20 May last to discuss the difficulties the centre is having. Tosach, the regional support agency which provides day-to-day advice to the management under the FRC programme, also attended the meeting. Following the meeting Tosach prepared an action plan to address the issues discussed and has recently submitted this to the Family Support Agency where it is being examined. Once this examination is complete, the Family Support Agency will engage in further discussions with Hill Street family resource centre, in conjunction with Tosach, with a view to finding a satisfactory solution.