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PRESS RELEASE Threats to Family Resource Centres highlighted by FRCNF

Wednesday, 29th January 2020
Threats to Family Resource Centres highlighted by FRCNF
– Call for general election candidates to sign #SupportingFRCs pledge –

The threats facing Family Resource Centres (FRCs) nationwide are being highlighted by the Family
Resource Centre National Forum, the national representative body for FRCs in the lead-up to the
general election. The Forum has launched a campaign this week, #SupportingFRCs, calling on
candidates to pledge their support for families and FRCs.
The national Family Resource Centre programme is the largest community-based family support
programme in Ireland. Through a network of 121 FRCs, it supports families in communities
experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

According to the Family Resource Centre National Forum (FRCNF), the future of these FRCs is under
threat because the Family Resource Centre programme does not have a dedicated government unit
administering it. The FRCNF is also highlighting the threat caused by insufficient core funding for
FRCs; and the dilution and dismantling of their unique community development model of family

Three Campaign Asks
Commenting today, Clare Cashman, Chairperson of the FRCNF, said: “In the lead-up to the 2020
general election, FRCs nationwide – through the FRCNF – are calling on candidates to pledge their
support for our future. By supporting FRCs, candidates are supporting families right across their
“We have three main asks for all candidates and political parties.
Firstly, we want them to commit to establishing a dedicated government unit – permanently housed within an appropriate
government department – to administer the Family Resource Centre programme.
“Secondly, we want candidates to commit to preserving the autonomy of FRCs, and the unique
model of family supports we offer. FRCs focus on early intervention and prevention, and on
supporting families from the ‘cradle to the grave’. We offer services and information that extend far
beyond the needs of families with young children, working with older members of the community,
minority groups, people with disabilities, and a range of diverse service-users.
“Thirdly, we are asking candidates to work to ensure all FRCs receive ring-fenced, multi-annual core
funding – a minimum of €160,000 per FRC per year – and have at least three full-time staff-
members. This would enable us to provide the full range of supports so desperately needed by the
communities in which we work.”

Invite to Election Candidates
The FRCNF is distributing materials to election candidates nationwide with further details about their
work and the #SupportingFRCs campaign. The Forum is inviting all election candidates to visit their
local FRC to publicly sign a campaign pledge, committing to support for families and FRCs, if elected
to Dáil Éireann.
“We are hoping for very strong support from candidates for this campaign,” said Clare Cashman.
“The period since 2008 has been a difficult one for FRCs, with core funding down by over 20%,
resulting in reduced services, salaries, and conditions.
The communities in which we operate suffered considerable hardship during the recession, and other community supports were sharply
reduced or eliminated. While this happened, demographic and social pressures grew.
“All of this means FRCs are now at a critical juncture. Without political commitment and will to
copper-fasten our future, families and communities will suffer.”
The Family Resource Centre programme has been in operation for over 25 years, and is currently
housed within Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Further information is available at

Our vision is that all children, families, individuals, and communities will actively participate and be included in a society that is equal, equitable, inclusive, and non-discriminatory and which will enable their optimal well-being.