Garda Youth Diversion Projects are part supported by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.
Garda Youth Diversion Projects are community based and supported youth development projects which seek to divert young people from becoming involved (or further involved) in anti-social or criminal behaviour. These projects facilitate personal development and promote civic responsibility.
Foróige operates 30% of Garda Youth Diversion Projects in Ireland. These are a partnership between the Irish Youth Justice Service, Garda Community Relations and Foróige. The European Social Fund is a co-funder with the Irish Government of the Garda Youth Diversion Projects, which has resulted in increased capacity to provide more one to one work, more challenging group work and increase the employment readiness of the young people involved.
1. Involve young people in suitable activities to facilitate personal development and encourage civic responsibility and improve their long-term employability prospects
2. Divert young people from becoming involved in criminal or anti-social behaviour
3. In achieving the above, projects will seek to support and improve local Garda community relations and enhance the quality of life in the area
The projects have expanded rapidly in recent years and are proving a major instrument in the management and development of young people at risk
These projects can be accessed by young people referred by An Garda Siochána, young people identified as being at risk of becoming involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour.
Programmes & Activities
- Individual and group work
- Life Skills
- Peer Education
- Youth Information
- Family Support
- In-schools Programmes
- Drugs Education
- Teenage Health Initiatives
- Personal Development Programmes
- Community Based Programmes
- Seasonal Programmes
- Video Production
- Special Interest Groups
- Health & Fitness
- Outdoor Pursuits
- Day Trips
Outcomes for Garda Youth Diversion Projects
Each young person involved in a Garda Youth Diversion Project goes through an assessment process to identify their individual needs and strengths. This allows the project to tailor a programme of activities specifically to meet the needs of the young person. The outcomes for each individual will vary depending on their own needs, but they will involve the reduction of risk factors for offending and an increase in protective factors. Some typical outcomes for GYDP participants may include:
- Improved educational attachment and/or attainment
- Reduced substance misuse
- Increased engagement with pro-social peers
- Improved parenting effectiveness
- Increase in pro-social attitudes and behaviours
- Improved use of leisure/recreation time
Positive outcomes in these areas of a young person life have been proven to lead to a reduction in their likelihood of offending/re-offending.