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More disadvantaged teens stay in school longer

The Lourdes Youth and Community Services are warning ahead of Budget 2013 that this “trend may be undone if funding for youth services are reduced”.

Image: Lourdes Youth and Community Services via More disadvantaged teens stay in school longer

COMPARED WITH 10 years ago, more young people from disadvantaged areas are staying longer in school.

However, members of the Lourdes Youth and Community Services (LYCS), who compiled the ‘Hanging Around’ study, are warning ahead of Budget 2013 that this “trend may be undone if funding for youth services are reduced”.

LYCS, who cater for hundreds of local young people weekly, revisited research they carried out 10 years ago. They surveyed 70 young people who live in the north east inner city of Dublin for their findings but it is believed that similar conclusions can be applied to any disadvantaged community in Ireland.

Early school leavers

Although they found that larger numbers of young people are making real efforts to finish secondary school, there are still large numbers of early school leavers and a low number of young people going to college.

One of the main reasons for conducting the research was to find out why some young people at risk are not engaging with youth services in their area, which gives them something to do rather than get involved in anti-social behaviour, drugs or alcohol misuse.

They found that many had “never been asked” to join a youth programme or club while others believed it would be “boring”. Some young people did not have the confidence to access youth services on their own, whilst others were not aware of the various services available.

Benefits

John Farrelly Chairperson of LYCS outlines the benefits of youth services in disadvantaged areas:

Being part of a youth service offers young people real opportunities for personal and social development, an increased opportunity to stay in school and to engage in positive progression routes to further training, education or employment.

The report will be launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald T.D. today at 6.00pm in LYCS, Rutland Street, Dublin 1.

Read: Hillary Clinton to give human rights speech at DCU >

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Amy Croffey

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