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Representatives from the Family Resource Centres National Forum (FRCNF) met with Oireachtas members from Cork in a briefing at Buswells Hotel, Dublin, to call for increased funding for community services in the upcoming Budget 2025. The meeting aimed to highlight the urgent need for adequate financial support to enable Family Resource Centres (FRCs) to provide essential services to local communities.

The event marked the official launch of the FRCNF’s Budget 2025 submission. As the largest community-based family support programme in Ireland, the FRC programme, through its network of 121 centres, assists families in areas experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

Core Funding Increase Request

A primary request in the submission is an increase in core funding for all 121 FRCs to €240,000. Earlier this year, Minister Roderic O’Gorman raised the minimum core funding level to €160,000 per FRC. However, this figure, identified six years ago, is now insufficient to meet the current needs. The FRCNF has identified €240,000 as the necessary funding level for FRCs to provide adequate services.

Fergal Landy, CEO of the FRCNF, emphasised the importance of the upcoming budget, stating:

“Budget 2025 is a crucial opportunity for the Government to maximise the potential of the FRC National Programme. Adequate funding will enable us to better support children, families, and communities facing challenges such as the housing crisis, poverty, the cost of living, and integrating new communities. The current funding of €160,000 per FRC, intended for three full-time staff, operational costs, and services, is neither realistic nor sustainable.”

The shortfall in core funding has led to a recruitment and retention crisis of qualified staff and difficulties in maintaining suitable premises, impacting the quality of support FRCs can provide.

Additional Key Requests

In addition to the core funding increase, the FRCNF is advocating for:

  • A halt on the establishment of new FRCs until existing funding issues are resolved.
  • Involvement of FRCs in decision-making processes when expanding the programme.
  • Consistent, long-term funding for counselling and therapeutic supports.
  • Development of a dedicated capital funding stream for FRCs.

Landy highlighted the impact of therapeutic support services, stating, “Last year, over 70,000 therapeutic support sessions were provided to adults and children in FRCs across Ireland. With proper funding, we can continue to reduce waiting lists and ensure that families receive timely support. We urge the Government to commit to long-term funding to enable future planning and investment in full-time practitioners.”

The FRCNF also cautioned against increasing the number of FRCs in 2025 without first addressing current funding inadequacies.

“The FRC National Programme is vital in providing community services nationwide. However, FRCs have long faced reduced core funding compared to similar organisations. We urge the Government to prioritise communities in Budget 2025 and invest where it is most needed,” Landy concluded.

For more information about the FRCNF, visit Family Resource Centre National Forum.

About the FRCNF

The Family Resource Centre (FRC) programme is Ireland’s largest national family and community-based support programme, funded by Tusla – the child and family agency. The FRCNF represents 121 FRCs in Ireland. Its vision is for an inclusive society where all members actively participate and achieve optimal well-being. Its mission is to support, empower, and represent FRCs to effect positive change in communities.

Follow the FRCNF on Twitter @frcnf, Facebook, and YouTube.

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