Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has highlighted the impending closure of YAP Ireland’s service in Galway/Roscommon and the detrimental impact he feels this will have on young people and families in the area.
Deputy Murphy has expressed concern in relation to the decision taken by Tusla to terminate their Service Level Agreement with Youth Advocate Programmes Ireland to no longer fund YAP services from December 2018.
This decision was taken following an internal review carried out by the Galway Area Management Team. Deputy Murphy has tabled Parliamentary Questions with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone in a bid to have this decision reserved and highlight the very worthwhile and valuable work carried out by YAP Ireland.
“I recently held a meeting with Siobhan O’ Dwyer the CEO of YAP Ireland in Leinster House and it is very clear this decision will have a damaging impact on young people and their families in counties Roscommon and Galway,” he said.
“If this funding decision is allowed to stand I am fearful that young people and their families will lose a high quality community service. YAP Ireland has been providing a great service in Galway and Roscommon for 16 years. Some of the statistics from YAP Ireland show that 96 per cent of young people who were at home when referred to YAP remained at home at the end of the programme; 76 per cent of young people reported an improvement in their self-esteem and confidence; 70 per cent reported an improvement in school attendance and 70 per cent reported an improvement in emotional well being,” said Deputy Murphy. “The YAP Model is unique in that they recruit, train, employ and support community-based advocates who bring a range of skills to the role and who are matched with young people and families based on what will best meet their needs.
“The current funding is €213,000 to work intensively with at least 20 young people and families over a 26-week period. The average cost per young person and family in 2017 was €6,500, which shows the cost effectiveness of this service given the outcomes achieved as opposed to residential care options,” said Deputy Murphy.