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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion

Last update: 28 March 2024

Youth policy aimed at social inclusion

UBU- Your Place, Your Space

In December 2019, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs launched UBU- Your Place, Your Space. It arose from the results of a 2014 ‘Value for Money and Policy Review’ of the Youth Programmes that target disadvantaged young people. It is informed by the high-level national outcome areas set out in The National Policy Framework for Children and the corresponding objectives in the National Youth Strategy. It brough together four separate schemes - The Special Projects for Youth (SPY), Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund (LDTF) Fund 1 and Fund 2 - with a value of over €38.5 million. These programmes were run by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth’s Youth Affairs Unit and targeted 10–21-year-olds in areas where drug problems exist. 

As outlined in this Strategy, the primary target group for this initiative are 10–24-year-olds who are marginalised, disadvantaged, or vulnerable. UBU- Your Place, Your Space’s goals are to provide a young person-centered, community-based, and out of school youth services to young people in need of support and to ensure that each layer of the governance structure (including the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth; Education and Training Boards; and funded organisations) adds value to the direct work with young people.


UBU Resilience and Effectiveness Initiative

The initiative was launched in 2021 to support youth services working with disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable young people under the UBU Your Place Your Space scheme. The initiative will help to support smaller youth services to increase their youth work provision and to benefit organisations that have been facing cost pressures.

The funding is support UBU- Your Place, Your Space services to deliver a more efficient service to young people. A total of €800,000 has been set aside for this initiative that will be operated through the Education and Training Boards.


Garda (Police) Youth Diversion Programme

The Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) funds youth organisations and projects to provide services to young people aged under 18-years who have conflict with the law.

The Garda [Police] Youth Diversion Bureau (GYDB) supports a network of Garda [Police] Youth Diversion Projects (GYDP). GYDP’s are community-based multi-agency crime prevention initiatives that seek to divert young people who have become involved in crime/anti-social behaviour and to support wider preventative work within the community and with families at risk. There are currently 105 GYDP’s state-wide and a further 10 projects with a special focus (e.g. for more challenging children, family support, etc.). 

GYDP’s aim to bring about the conditions whereby the behavioural patterns of young people towards law and order can develop and mature through positive interventions and interaction of the project.

They primarily targeted ‘at-risk’ 12- to 17-year-old youths in communities where a specific need has been identified and where there is risk of them remaining within the justice system.

In 2020, €15.6m was allocated to GYDPs. GYDPs are financed by way of a funding agreement between the CBO and the Department of Justice. This is subject to year-on-year approval of the GYDP Annual Plan submitted by the management agencies to the Department of Justice and the Garda Youth Diversion Programme Office. 


Le Chéile

Together (Le Chéile) is a mentoring service for children and young people aged 12-18 years engaged in Young Persons Probation. It was set up to meet the needs of the Mentor (Family Support) Order under the requirements of the Children’s Act 2001. Le Chéile runs a Restorative Justice project in Limerick, funded by the Limerick Regeneration Project, now under Limerick and City Council and Young Person’s Probation. Le Chéile is funded by the Irish Youth Justice Services though the Probation Service, until 2020 as part of Ireland’s European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes 2014-2020, that is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.