Education Minister Peter Weir has confirmed the further reopening of some youth services in response to the recent unrest on our streets.
This will apply to those youth services which operate in areas of heightened community tensions.
Peter Weir said: “Youth services play a vital role in supporting young people throughout Northern Ireland.
“As a society we should all be appalled at witnessing young people and even children being involved in the recent violence on our streets.
“At this time it is even more important that youth services are able to meet the needs of young people in these areas.”
It has been agreed that all youth centres and provisions which operate in areas where there is heightened community tensions can maximise the use of their facilities and services with immediate effect.
This includes the provision of educational visits and residential provision (overnight stays) when there is significant risk of harm or criminalisation of children and young people.
The Minister said: “These measures are intended to safeguard and ensure the welfare of our young people and to divert them from becoming involved in risk taking and dangerous behaviours.
“I want to commend the Education Authority’s Youth Service and all youth workers for their commitment to helping our young people in these very difficult times.”
Notes to editors:
- Guidance for youth settings is available at: www.youthonline.org.uk/restart(external link opens in a new window / tab))
- All youth centres and provisions (statutory and voluntary funded through Local Area/Project Based Funding; TPP funding) who operate in areas where there is heightened community tensions can maximise the use of their facilities and services with immediate effect to meet the needs of local children and young people·
- An online form will be available from Friday 9 April 2021 on www.eanifunding.org.uk(external link opens in a new window / tab) to approve education visits including overnight stays for the statutory and voluntary sector providers funded under local area, local project and TPP funding.
- Planning should commence for all generic provision for the summer period (July/August); however further steps of approval will be necessary to move to the next phase.
- Planning for the summer (July/august) for areas where there are heightened community tensions can progress with approval from EA to ensure the welfare and child safeguarding of children and young people to divert them from risk taking behaviours
- For areas NOT impacted by heightened community tensions; regulations remain the same.