The Government must restore Tusla funding for family resource centres to pre-2011 levels as such centres “offering some of the most powerful tools we have in overcoming childhood poverty and deprivation”.
This is the view of the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on children and youth affairs, and Galway East TD, Anne Rabbitte, who is demanding “full funding” for the 108 family resource centres across the State. “In light of the frightening escalation in child poverty and homelessness in recent years,” she said, “this service has never been more necessary.”
According to Dep Rabbitte, the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, has been consistently vocal in his support for early intervention programmes such as the FRC’s which, she said, “help combat disadvantage in communities”. She said, however, that Fine Gael led administrations have “failed to acknowledge their importance”, and that this was borne out by the five per cent cut to the FRC budget each year between 2011 and 2014.
“It has been deeply upsetting for those providing and using the service,” she said. “They have seen supports, including counselling and psychotherapy services, withdrawn due to budgetary constraints. The full restoration of funding will give vulnerable and marginalised families a crucial opportunity to overcome difficulties.”