A BURSARY scheme to give care-experienced young people a financial boost towards the cost of their education has been launched by child and family agency Tusla. The scheme, which is now in its second year, provides a cash injection to those over 18 years old to help them achieve their career goals. Care-experienced young people, who are not receiving financial support for their education from any other State source, can apply for a bursary of up to €5,000 to fund a third level course or to purchase necessary materials or hardware. A total of €750,000 of Dormant Accounts funding was secured in 2022 by Tusla and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) to provide educational supports for children in care and young people in aftercare.
Speaking about the launch at Tusla’s head office in the Brunel Building, Heuston South Quarter, in Dublin, DCEDIY Minister Roderic O’Gorman said: “I am delighted to support the launch of the Education and Training Bursary Scheme 2022-2023. “While there are very strong supports for formal third-level courses, this scheme is to address the need for supports for other, often shorter courses, which are part of the incremental steps for young people building their careers. “In such instances this bursary scheme will be of real practical benefit and will improve access to educational opportunities,” Mr O’Gorman added.
With the cost of living rising faster than ever, the money couldn’t come at a better time for young people hoping to access further education and training to support their career development. Last year, Tusla’s Bursary Scheme Committee approved 136 applications and just under €185,000 was awarded to young people to support their further education or training.
One recipient of last year’s scheme is Clara O’Shea-Collins (26), from Co. Wicklow. Clara was in foster care from the age of one years old up until her 18th birthday, when she was adopted by her foster parents. She now works as a social worker for Tusla, in Co. Dublin. Clara has always liked horses and finds a sense of calm around them so when she heard about the bursary scheme, she knew exactly what she would use the money for – to train as an equine-assisted learning instructor.
The course will give her the skills to help people develop their social and emotional competencies through therapeutic work with horses. Not only has the funding helped her to be able to undertake two new trainings, it has also helped Clara to buy books, a computer, a printer and other materials for her courses. Speaking about the scheme and the support she received, Clara added: ‘I’m delighted. It’s an amazing opportunity! If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so it’s definitely worth applying.’
Tusla’s bursary also helped Jaffer Mohammed (21), from Dublin, put his career into motion. Jafer, who is an apprentice electrician, had no means of transport and was losing out on job opportunities because he had no means of transport. Thanks to the Tusla bursary scheme, though, he was able to use the €1,500 support money he received to buy a computer, do a driver theory test and take driving lessons. Not only that, but Jafer is clearly good under pressure because he passed his test on the first attempt and is now set to hit the road in an Opel Corsa. “I couldn’t get the money from the bank to pay for the lessons because I am on an apprenticeship. I want to thank Tusla so much for the support.”
Speaking at the launch, Kate Duggan, National Director of Services and Integration, Tusla, said:“In order to meet the individual needs of care experienced people, the funding is available for a wide variety of courses and training, such as third level courses, apprenticeships as well as training-related equipment.”
Closing date for applications is October 28, 2022. Email email@example.com for further details.