Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Domestic Violence Services
1118. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the measures she has taken to ensure that additional refuge supports are in place for victims of domestic and gender-based violence from March 2020 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5887/20]
The response to Domestic, Sexual Violence and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) is a cross Departmental and multi-agency issue. Policy is coordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE). Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of DSGBV.
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs is providing Tusla with €25.3m this year for almost 60 organisations that deliver services for these victims. Tusla reports that, to date, it has allocated an additional €250,000 to service providers to support continuity of business and essential service provision related to COVID-19 including additional accommodation; staffing capacity and ICT to enable remote working.
Tusla has advised that as facilities, accommodation and arrangements are specific to each service, Tusla has been working with individual organisations to address any challenges arising in maintaining essential refuge service provision. To mitigate the impact of social distancing and isolation measures, an additional 48 refuge and non-refuge accommodation units for service users have been secured in the community, through the efforts of local services with support from Tusla.
Tusla has advised that a number of services also have access to additional spaces on an ‘as needed’ basis. Tusla continues to explore further options for additional contingency plans with regard to the provision of safe accommodation for victims of domestic violence during the current public health emergency.