23 October 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Sandra McLellan TD, queried Minister on Children, Dr James Reilly (Fine Gael), about his commitment to Family Resource Centres given government cuts in their funding.
Deputy McLellan said:
“Family resource centres have had their core funding cut by 17%. I have been informed morale is at an all-time low because 60% of the agency’s funding comes through fund-raising. That time spent on fund-raising would be far better spent on providing an excellent service to vulnerable children.
“Prevention and early intervention are far better than fire-fighting in the long run. Will the Minister agree that no business can exist without the ability to plan ahead for at least the following year and that core funding for the services needs to be ring-fenced within Tusla to enable it to do that?”
“The retention of the family resource centre national programme is an issue of paramount importance and additional funding must be provided to ensure it is maintained.
“Proactive rather than reactive measures should be implemented to try and tackle child poverty. Minister Reilly’s treatment of these centres thus far seems to suggest that the government adheres to the latter strategy. I would like to see a real commitment given to early intervention services and the Family Resource Centres to allow them continue the great work they do.”