Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Domestic Violence Refuges Provision

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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458. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if funding will be provided in 2021 to ensure the provision of a refuge centre in counties Cavan and Monaghan for victims of domestic abuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44480/20]

Roderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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The response to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) is a cross Departmental and multi-agency issue. Policy is coordinated by the Department of Justice. Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of DSGBV. Capital funding for approved housing bodies, including services that provide refuge accommodation for victims of DSGBV, is provided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

I am delighted that I was able to procure €30m for Tusla in Budget 2021, specifically allocated for DSGBV services. This includes core funding of €28m and an additional €2m to assist DSGBV organisations in offsetting the effects of COVID-19 on day-to-day services.

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for Government sets out a number of commitments regarding DSGBV, including an audit on segmentation of DSGBV responsibilities across government departments and agencies, which will inform future investments in this area.

Tusla is also undertaking a review of emergency accommodation nationwide. This will assess the current and requisite distribution of safe emergency accommodation. Substantial progress has been made on a number of processes which contribute to the review, including a literature review, consultations with stakeholders, geographical and census data analysis, consultation with service users and policy analysis.

The review's findings and the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee of the Second National Strategy on DSGBV will inform Tusla's future decisions on priority areas for investment and development of services. Tusla has advised me that the report will be published next April.

It is of the utmost importance that the needs of those who experience domestic violence are met in the most appropriate way possible. I strongly support the work of Tusla and its funded service providers and I am committed to supporting the Agency in meeting the needs of individuals who experience domestic violence.

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