Annual Youth Diversion Project Conference Takes Place at Croke Park
The Conference brings together hundreds of Youth Justice workers from across the country who work in Youth Diversion Projects (YDPs), as well as Juvenile Liaison Officers (Gardaí), representatives from youth justice focused NGOs, academics and officials from the Department of Justice.
Speaking at the conference, Minister Browne announced that the Department of Justice will fund the registration of YDP service users for the Gaisce programme, the President’s Award, which helps young people develop their own skills, self-confidence and resilience, and provides a framework for young people to contribute positively to their community through volunteering or social work.
Minister Browne said, “our Youth Justice Strategy is underpinned by the life-changing work of Youth Diversion Projects which steer young people at risk or engaged in crime away from negative lifestyles. At a practical level they help young people face up to the negative impacts of criminal lifestyles on not only themselves but the communities around them, and provide them with opportunities to take a different life path.”
“I am delighted to announce that we will fund the registration of service users of YDPs for the Gaisce programme, which will help young people build important life skills and give back to their communities. Funding registration will remove a barrier to participation for many, and also open up new positive pathways for young people.”
Minister Browne also detailed a ten percent increase in funding for Youth Justice under Budget 2024 to over €33 million.
This will facilitate an increase in the availability of YDP services in the evenings and at the weekends when many young people need them the most, as well as an increase in supports for families, interventions for typically hard-to-reach young people and early interventions for 8-11 year olds who may be at increased risk of becoming engaged in criminal activity.
Four new Youth Diversion Projects will be established across the country by the end of the year, expanding the nationwide availability of these important services.