This morning, Minister of State with responsibility for Youth Justice, James Browne TD, met with the University of Limerick ‘REPPP’ team, along with Youth Justice Workers from the Garda Youth Diversions Projects, to discuss their participation in an ongoing Action Research Project.

The Action Research Project is led by REPPP (pronounced “rep”), a research partnership with the University of Limerick, who work with local projects alongside a dedicated Best Practice Development Team. The team provides guidance, technical support and professional development support to GYDP Youth Justice Workers, forming the essential front-line of engagement with young people

Following the meeting, Minister Browne said,

“This meeting provided a valuable opportunity to discuss my most immediate priority to be contained in the upcoming Youth Justice Strategy.  Enhancing our engagement with children and young people, particularly those who are identified as most at risk of involvement in criminal activity, is critically important in diverting them from a life of crime.

“The new Youth Justice Strategy will look to enhance this early engagement and intervention, principally by enhancing the services available through the existing 105 Garda Youth Diversion Projects, to ensure a focus on early intervention, family support and work with harder-to-engage young people, and by extending the service so that it is available throughout the State.”

Based on initial outcomes from the Action Research Project, and evaluations of a number of pilot projects, it is intended to develop an enhanced GYDP service offering, to provide in particular:

  • family support
  • engagement with younger children (8-11) years
  • early intervention and engagement with more challenging children and young people, whose needs may be too complex for other youth and family services