Dáil Éireann - Volume 595 - 15 December, 2004
Written Answers. - Departmental Programmes.
Mr. Perry Mr. Perry
61. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the number of facilitators working with the family services project and the employment support service; the location of each; the work that they do; his plans to further expand the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33512/04]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Mr. Brennan: In April 2004, the jobs facilitation and family support programmes of my Department merged to form the social and family support services, SFSS. This was done to enable the resources at my Department’s disposal be utilised in the most effective manner to assist the social inclusion of our most marginalised citizens and to encourage economic activation amongst those most distanced from the labour market. Job facilitators and family service project officers were renamed facilitators at that time.
Currently, 43 facilitators and ten regional co-ordinators operate in 34 locations around the country. Details of locations are set out in appendix 1. Facilitators support customers who are amongst the most disadvantaged in our society by enhancing their potential to obtain employment and by helping them ultimately become integrated into the labour market.
For many of these customers, active labour market programmes, such as FÁS training and community employment, form part of the range of supports provided and may be all that are required in certain cases. A different approach is required for customers who need access to a range of other supports. These supports may be available within my Department or across the spread of other agencies that service this area.
The SFSS, in addition to its support and activation role, is involved in the provision of an information service on the range of supports  available to customers from State agencies and the community and voluntary sector. There is a particular emphasis placed on agencies operating at a local level and on services available locally.
Within SFSS, efforts are made to provide an enhanced programme of support to customers with complex needs, for instance very young lone parents, other parents rearing children without the support of a partner, dependent spouses on social welfare payments with children, and carers.
Examples of activities supported to date include: parenting projects for very young lone parents; support programmes for carers and for families of people with disabilities; and family support for Travellers. Within the overall resources available to my Department, there are no plans to increase the number of facilitators at this time.
Dáil Éireann 595 Written Answers. Departmental Programmes.