€11.1m Exceptional Safeguarding Funding Announced

National youth organisations in Ireland are to benefit from more than €11 million Exceptional Safeguarding Funding, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone.

National youth organisations are receiving an increase of at least 2.5% after the Minister secured additional youth funding in the Budget. The funding ensures the continued promotion, growth and development of these organisations for young people.

Making the announcement Minister Zappone said: "The work being carried out with children and teenagers in local communities is transforming lives.

"Through sport, theatre, the arts as well as essential support services youth workers and volunteers are giving our young people skills for the future.

"In addition they are providing an alternative to anti-social behaviour, crime and drugs.

"As Minister I have seen the work at first hand throughout the country. I am asking each organisation to ensure that the funding is used to impact on as many young people as possible.  Officials in my Department work side by side with the national youth organisations and we are always on the look-out for new ways to engage with more young people."

Addressing Scouting Ireland specifically, Minister Zappone added: "I share the huge concerns of parents about the safeguarding issues at Scouting Ireland. As Minister I will never compromise on child-safety and it is essential that the shortfalls which have been identified are addressed.

"Extra exceptional funding of over €200,000 has been made available to Scouting Ireland on the strictest understanding that it will be solely used to staff its safeguarding office.

"The Review of Scouting Ireland completed by Jillian van Turnhout last year recommended that a coherent safeguarding structure is appropriately resourced within Scouting Ireland.

"I want to be clear Scouting Ireland still has work to do. My officials continue to monitor developments within the organisation to ensure all safeguarding and child protection standards are met."

Minister Zappone concluded: "The continuation of funding to Scouting Ireland is linked to the successful implementation of the recommendations contained in the Review of Scouting Ireland."

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