Dáil Éireann - Volume 546 - 13 December, 2001
Written Answers. - National Development Plan.
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
 230. Mr. McDowell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the projects in the national development plan for which funding has been provided as part of the 2002 Abridged Estimates or announced in the Budget Statement; the level of funding provided; the nature of the works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32369/01]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The following table shows the funding provided as part of the 2002 Abridged Estimates to my Department under the national development plan.
The child care measure has a focus on equal opportunities and social inclusion, and is being promoted as the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme 2000-2006. The overall aims of the programme are to improve the quality of child care in Ireland, to increase the number of child care facilities and child care places and to introduce a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of child care services.
The equality for women measure forms part of the Government's commitment to promoting gender equality. It provides funding to projects to upskill and retrain women employees, to encourage entrepreneurship and career development among women, to support innovative projects for disadvantaged women and women over 50 years of age and to support gender balance in decision making.
In addition, the measure is funding an initiative to gender proof personnel practices. This work is being undertaken by the Equality Authority on behalf of my Department. The Authority is delivering this strand through equality reviews and action plans involving the identification of multiple discriminations within the gender experience. The measure is also funding the work of the national framework committee for the development of family friendly policies at the level of the enterprise which has been set up under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
The NDP gender equality unit has been established to promote equal opportunities between women and men, in particular, through a gender mainstreaming approach. In 2002 the unit will continue to develop its work programme in accordance with its programme complement under the employment and human resources development operational programme by engaging in the further development of the training programme; conducting further research into  gender equality issues in the areas of agriculture; statistics evaluation methodologies and tourism; resourcing the community and voluntary pillar to support gender mainstreaming; and a communications programme to publicise and support the unit's work in promoting equal opportunities between women and men across the NDP.
CONNECT 2000-2006 is an action-research project which is run by the Irish Prison Service of my Department in collaboration with the National Training Development Institute of the REHAB Group. The project focuses on prisoners' transition from custody, through training, to reintegration in the community, and labour market participation. Research was carried out, and based on this research, pilot strategies and systems were developed and implemented to fill gaps in current vocational and employment programmes for prisoners. The project will now be rolled out to every prison in the State.
The Probation and Welfare Service is targeting a number of groups such as those under 25 years who have been before the courts and are likely to reoffend and become long-term unemployed. Another target group will be women, particularly young women with drug problems and those with families whose lives are disrupted, for example by domestic violence. A number of drug treatment facilities are planned under this sub-measure.
In relation to the Garda youth diversion projects, these are aimed at young people, aged ten to 18 years, in urban and rural areas who are at risk of becoming further involved in criminal and anti-social behaviour. A diversionary outcome is brought about by the provision of suitable activities to facilitate personal development, encourage civic responsibility and enhance the long-term employability prospects of the participants. Finally, local drugs task force projects aim, through engaging with young people and adults and involving them in constructive activities, to divert them from becoming involved in drug abuse.
Dáil Éireann 546 Written Answers. National Development Plan.