The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald TD officially opened a new, innovative and exciting Training and Activity Centre in Matt Talbot Adolescent Services (MTAS), Tramore Road, Cork.
The YES project is funded by the Probation Service and FAS and provides education and training to young people at risk. A number of FETAC courses are run in the project which to date has been very successful development.
During her visit the Minister issued a number of awards to the young people and she was presented with a beautiful painting completed by the young people. She also facilitated a meeting with representatives from the parents’ service user forum.
They highlighted abuse of alcohol and drugs as one of the most significant threats to public health in this country. The parents felt that there was a misconception about children and young people abusing drugs/alcohol who are no longer just minorities, offenders, or people from low-income neighbourhoods especially with certain drug trends i.e. prescription drugs. They were especially concerned about the link between mental health issues & substance misuse. They were very honest in their discussions and the Minister thanked them profusely.
The Minister commented on the warm atmosphere of the building and the people, and that it was wonderful to meet the young people and their parents. She stated that it was refreshing that the young people’s personalities are being accepted and nurtured and that it was fantastic to see the cross collaboration of the services; FAS and Probation.
The official launch was well attended and included the new National Director for Children and Family Services Gordon Jeyes, Dara Murphy TD, Mr Sean Redmond - Irish Youth Justice Service, Brian Dack, and Rosemary Fox Probation Services.