By Michelle Crean
The KDYS are this week reassuring Killorglin locals that its Neighbourhood Youth Project will continue in the town. The news comes after growing fears that Tusla is to withdraw its support for the project.
Tim O’Donoghue, CEO with the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) said that the service has been meeting with Tusla managers to ensure the existing KDYS family support services remains.
KDYS has enjoyed a long partnership, initially with the HSE Community Work Dept., since 2006 and from 2015 with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, to provide specialised preventative family support services, Tim explained to the Killarney Advertiser.
“Through this partnership, KDYS have provided the Springboard project mainly serving the Tralee area and the Neighbourhood Youth Project, Killorglin providing a response to specific youth and family support needs in the Mid–Kerry area. Following a review of Family Support Services in Kerry by Tusla, some gaps in family support needs have become apparent. We are very aware there is an urgent need to support the families of Kerry in accessing meaningful contact with their children who may be in the care of Tusla and to support teenagers in the community to continue to live within their family while receiving crisis support and ongoing high level interventions to the teenagers and their families. There has also been an awareness that these services should been available to young people and their families throughout the county and not just Tralee and the Mid-Kerry area. Currently KDYS and Tusla managers have been meeting to plan how best to ensure the existing KDYS family support services can respond to these gaps.”
He added that while the services of the two projects will be maintained, the type of family support work will be focussing on responding to these emerging needs.
“KDYS has proven expertise in responding to young people who are going through difficult times and a wealth of experience in providing one to one support and group-work. This refocussing of service delivery will ensure better outcomes for children and families in Kerry. Tusla Kerry are delighted to support the on-going KDYS family support work to improve the service and offer better outcomes for children and families in Kerry throughout the county.”