Catholic Youth Care (CYC) celebrate 20th Anniversary of the G.R.A.F.T. Programme
A project set up to prevent children and teenagers in West Dublin getting into a life of crime marks its 20th anniversary today, with Gardai, youth workers and community representatives joining together to mark its success in giving hundreds of young people a second chance in life.
The project, Give Ronanstown a Future Today (G.R.A.F.T.), was set up in 1991 by Catholic Youth Care as an emergency response to spiralling crime among youths at that time, in particular a joyriding crisis in the community. Eddie Darcy, Manager of Youth Work Services with Catholic Youth Care said: “The G.R.A.F.T. project was established as an emergency response to an emergency situation and has been hugely successful in working to address the problems facing young people in the West Dublin region.”
G.R.A.F.T. proved to be such a success that it led to the establishment of the first Garda Diversion Project which has since been rolled out across the country.
Joining Catholic Youth Care and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald at this evening’s event is Chairman of the G.R.A.F.T. Advisory Committee, Inspector Frank Kennifeck and Assistant Garda Commissioner, Mick Feehan.
The G.R.A.F.T. project is targeted at children as young as 10 who may be getting involved in anti-social behaviour or criminality. They offer structured programmes to engage young people in a wide range of supports such as group or individual work, school based programmes and provide support, mediation and information for families, in order to address the causes of offending behaviour.
Since the establishment of the of the G.R.A.F.T. project, over 100 similar initiatives have been developed nationwide. Catholic Youth Care manages ten of these within the Archdiocese of Dublin area, including Swords, Finglas, Dun Laoghaire, Dundrum and Bray. Referrals are accepted from Juvenile Liaison Officers, Community Gardai, schools, community representatives, local youth services, and parents and by young people themselves.
Eddie Darcy, Manager of Youth Work Services with Catholic Youth Care added: “Initiatives such as the G.R.A.F.T. project provide young people with hope and give them a second chance to turn their lives around. We are delighted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project and look forward to its continued success for many more years to come.”
Notes: Catholic Youth Care (CYC) is a leading provider of youth services in the Archdiocese of Dublin. They provide direct youth work services and support for voluntary youth work in Dublin, Wicklow and parts of Kildare. Catholic Youth Care’s mission is to promote a youth work response that is caring, compassionate and Christian that enables young people to participate more fully in the life of society and Church.
For further information
Carol Faulkner, Communications Office, Archdiocese of Dublin 01 8360723/0876172947