An Bord Snip Nua in its report wants to discontinue the Family Support Agency and the Family and Community Services Resourse Centre Programme. They say it will save €30 million. This is another short-sighted decision. It recommends that a portion of the community and voluntary funding be retained and unified with other state programmes.
Do they not realise that there is a world outside of Dublin and that there is a need for Family Resource Centres in areas like Waterford. Unlike Dublin, these centres may be the only service in the area and discontinuing them is not an option. To retain a portion of funding is not adequate, nor is unifying it with other programmes- funding will be spread too thinly on the ground and services will be compromised. We cannot cut family support or mediation services in times of economic uncertainty, when the family unit is under the greatest strain, it is simply not viable.
We can’t just support the family in times of prosperity, we need to do it most in times like these as well. I am meeting representatives of Familiy Resource Centres in Waterford this week to offer my support and to explore ways in which I can help in the campaign against the cuts.