For Oral Answer on : 02/06/2022
Question Number(s): 69 Question Reference(s): 28357/22
Department: Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the supports that are being made available to youth services for young people and teenagers who have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine; the additional funding that is being made available in this regard; the distribution of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
While no formal requests have been received, the Youth Affairs Unit of my Department is actively monitoring the emerging needs as the situation moves from an emergency footing to a more settled picture. This work is ongoing with the assistance of the Education and Training Boards and the national youth organisations.
At this stage, most activity by clubs and services is necessarily on a case by case basis and driven by local response coordination. Activities by youth services and clubs are generally by their nature inclusive, and this is no exception.
These activities often come within the eligibility requirements of funding for youth organisations and services. A communication confirming eligibility and coordination requirements for UBU Your Place Your Space was issued to ETBs.
Ukrainian young people are being supported across a wide range of public services, including social protection, education, training, access to employment and access to language acquisition. Youth organisation and clubs are responding where it is appropriate.
The coordination of local actions is important and the Community Response Forum in each of the local authority areas plays a vital role here. The ETBs and local CYPSCs are included in the forum memberships.
Actions being undertaken by youth organisations include access to youth clubs, signposting and information provision, providing safe meeting places, translation of information and promotional materials, working to develop local medium to long term responses. In relation to accommodation, I wish to acknowledge the willingness of youth organisations to make available facilities normally used for residential or other services. Some examples of actions supported by my Department include:
- LGBT Ireland has been approved for €68,000 to support the coordination of efforts by the LGBTI+ NGO sector to meet the needs of Ukrainian refugees, including young people, who are LGBTI+.
- Foróige was approved to realign an existing grant to recruit a dedicated youth officer to consult and prepare a clear response to the identified needs of Ukrainian young people.
- The European Year of Youth micro grants scheme managed by Leargas, some €200,000 in total, includes a priority for projects supporting youth people from Ukraine and to examine topics with young people such as democracy, solidarity or preventing disinformation.
My Department is engaged in a significant effort to provide accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, initially on an emergency basis. I am working closely with Government colleagues to ensure that our responses are coordinated and as timely as possible.
My officials and I will continue to work closely with ETBs, NYCI, and youth organisations and will actively monitor the situation over the coming months.