Minister provides money for youth outreach services
Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson has welcomed the Education Minister's announcement that her Department is to provide funding for the Belfast Education and Library Board's 16 outreach workers. Commenting upon the announcement Michael Ferguson said,
"I welcome this announcement because it was an issue raised by Gerry Adams and I when we recently met the Minister.
It is also the case that we only have 56 Youth Service workers for the entire Belfast area and the Department itself recommends 1 youth worker for every 30 young people.
It is therefore painfully obvious that there is a major shortfall in youth provision and the recent cuts has led to the loss of 60% of youth service provision in the Twinbrook area which has the largest youth population in either Belfast or Lisburn.
The current funding allocation must be permanently mainstreamed and the investment found to ensure the quotas recommended by the Department itself are employed, their wages and resources mainstreamed.
Youth Services can no longer be the Cinderella of Educational provision."