146. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the strategy for funding youth diversion projects as distinct from Tusla funded child services in the Ballymun area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6631/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The statutory framework relating to young offenders and the Garda Diversion Programme is set out in the Children Act 2001. The operation of the Garda Diversion Programme is supported by the nationwide network of Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs). There are now 105 of these projects in place nationally.
GYDPs are community based, multi-agency, crime prevention initiatives which primarily seek to divert young people who have become involved in criminal or anti-social behaviour. There is currently one GYDP operating in the Ballymun area, namely the Ballymun Youth Block project.
GYDPs are funded by the Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) and each project is managed locally by a Community Based Organisation (CBO). Funding is allocated under multi-annual funding agreements with the CBOs and, in 2018, approximately €14m will be allocated for GYDPs. From 2015, GYDPs have been co-funded under the Programme for Employability Inclusion and Learning of the European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020.
I am advised that the funding and oversight of GYDPs is kept under ongoing review, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, in the light of experience of operating the projects and with a view to the future development and direction of GYDP services. In this context, and also to fully comply with ESF and other funding requirements, it is intended that a national Call for Proposals for the provision of these services (from 2019) will be issued by the IYJS in the first half of this year.