I submitted a Parliamentary Question asking the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability, Integration and Youth when resources will be allocated for a Family Resource Centre in Erris. The response that I have received is very disappointing and I will continue to pursue this with the Minister.
For the Minister to say that there is no expansion plan to increase the number of Family Resource Centres is not acceptable.
The need for a Family Resource Centre in Erris is well documented. It is now several years since the Community Development Project (CDP) was shut down in Erris. I believe this was a mistake and was short sighted.
TUSLA, the agency responsible for family resource centres, last year in the Area Commissioning plan described Erris as an area of ‘high deprivation’ and highlighted the need for investment in family support services.
There is a steering committee in Erris with the knowledge and ability to deliver on the much-needed services if they get the financial support required to make this a reality.
A €61 million increase was announced in additional funding in Budget 2021 for TUSLA. Erris cannot continue to be left behind. Erris needs these services and we have needed them for a long time.
This needs to be a priority for 2021 and the Minister needs to outline the expansion plan and the resources that will be made available to make it possible.