Written answers

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Child and Family Agency Funding

Photo of Colm KeaveneyColm Keaveney (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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6. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he accepts that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, by ceasing to fund the Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency, is undermining the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream services and ignoring the rights of vulnerable disabled children and their families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20407/15]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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The Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) was contracted by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to provide support, advice and training for Family Resource Centres across the area of disability awareness and staff/volunteer training in personal advocacy for people with disabilities. The organisation is funded by Tusla up to the end of June 2015.

Family Resource Centres are front-line services rooted in the community they serve. They offer an open door and respectful service. This universal accessibility allows for early identification of need, provision of appropriate interventions and timely referrals to appropriate services and for more intensive and targeted work as required. Acting as a focal point within their community, Family Resource Centres provide a holistic service of child, family and community support and advocacy to all children and families. This is inclusive of children and families who may have a disability.

Tusla values the work of DESSA and recognises the impact of its work across the Family Resource Centre Programme. I am assured by Tusla that the existing Family Resource Centre network has the capacity to deliver the services in question and to the required level. Tusla intends to build on the significant strengths of Family Resource Centres in meeting its mandate for community-based early intervention and family support. In this regard, Tusla is providing funding of €13.09m to 109 Centres across the country in 2015.

In seeking to improve outcomes and well being for children and young people, Tusla must ensure that it makes the most efficient use of its resources and in a way that is efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable. Tusla is giving particular priority in 2015 to the protection of front-line services and those which are best aligned to the priority outcomes as set out in the Agency's Corporate Plan.

Tusla is in receipt of Exchequer funding of €643m in 2015 which represents an increase of €34m or 5.6% over 2014. The level of funding provided represents tangible evidence of this Government's commitment to improving services for the most disadvantaged children and families.

Photo of Colm KeaveneyColm Keaveney (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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7. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will intervene with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to restore funding to the Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20406/15]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The Disability Equality Specialist Support Agency (DESSA) was contracted by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to provide support, advice and training for Family Resource Centres across the area of disability awareness and staff/volunteer training in personal advocacy for people with disabilities. The organisation is funded by Tusla up to the end of June 2015.

Family Resource Centres are front-line services rooted in the community they serve. They offer an open door and respectful service. This universal accessibility allows for early identification of need, provision of appropriate interventions and timely referrals to appropriate services and for more intensive and targeted work as required. Acting as a focal point within their community, Family Resource Centres provide a holistic service of child, family and community support and advocacy to all children and families. This is inclusive of children and families who may have a disability.

Tusla values the work of DESSA and recognises the impact of its work across the Family Resource Centre Programme. I am assured by Tusla that the existing Family Resource Centre network has the capacity to deliver the services in question and to the required level. Tusla intends to build on the significant strengths of Family Resource Centres in meeting its mandate for community-based early intervention and family support. In this regard, Tusla is providing funding of €13.09m to 109 Centres across the country in 2015.

In seeking to improve outcomes and well being for children and young people, Tusla must ensure that it makes the most efficient use of its resources and in a way that is efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable. Tusla is giving particular priority in 2015 to the protection of front-line services and those which are best aligned to the priority outcomes as set out in the Agency's Corporate Plan.

Tusla is in receipt of Exchequer funding of €643m in 2015 which represents an increase of €34m or 5.6% over 2014. The level of funding provided represents tangible evidence of this Government's commitment to improving services for the most disadvantaged children and families.

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