The Minister for Social and Family Affairs,
Martin CullenT.D. this evening (Friday 18 April, 2008) addressed the
South East Family Resource Centre
Regional Forum Seminar in Waterford. The South East Regional Forum is part of a Family Resource National Forum that has been in existence since 1998, and is the representative voice of Family Resource Centres in the South East and meets on a regional basis every two months.
The Minister congratulated the Regional Forum on its achievements to date in representing the views of those in the South East and on its commitment to providing key supports to families in today's changing Ireland. Minister Cullen spoke of how he wholeheartedly endorsed the overriding goal of the Family Resource Centre national forum strategic plan - which is to support the Family Resource Centres in ensuring families enjoy fulfilling lives, free from poverty, neglect, harm, discrimination and abuse.
Speaking this evening,
Minister Martin CullenT.D. said: "I am delighted that the target of 100 Family Resource Centres (FRC) around the country was reached by the end of 2006. I have said before that families are central to our society and family support is core to the work of the Forum. It is evident too, that this is a central issue for the Government. The Government's support for the Family Resource Centre programme was copper-fastened as part of an €861 million investment to further support communities under the second National Development Plan for 2007 – 2013. This funding will allow for up to 6 additional Family Resource Centres each year over the lifetime of the plan."
"The true value of the Family Resource Centres cannot, however, be purely evaluated in financial terms," said Minister Cullen. "The Family Resource Centres around the country are invaluable in improving the quality of lives of people in local communities. It is through a combination of local community initiatives on the ground together with support from statutory agencies and other bodies that local communities can realise their potential and have a real say in their development."
In his concluding remarks the Minister thanked Dick Hickey, Director of St Brigids Family Resource Centre and members of the Board of the Waterford Family Support Agency. He also thanked Claire Cashman of the Family Support Agency and Stephen Murphy, vice chair of the South East Regional Forum. Minister Cullen also paid tribute to the local community volunteers, without whom he said the success of the Family Resource Centres would not be possible.
Note for Editors:
The Family Resource Centre National Forum is a support network working with Family Resource Centres throughout Ireland. The aim of the Forum is to represent the views of all Family Resource Centres nationally and provide practical support to Family Resource Centres involved in family support and social inclusion initiatives.
For more information on the work of the Family Resource Centres please access the following website www.frcnf.com or call
Michelle Hoctor, 087 856 3070
Niamh Fitzgerald, 087 254 7232