The Cuan Álainn centre was established independently of the State. It opened in 2012 and is funded by Respond!. The Cuan Álainn centre provides accommodation for a range of clients, some of whom may have been in emergency accommodation provided by domestic violence refuges.
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, allocates available funding for domestic violence to emergency refuge accommodation services and community-based domestic violence supports. The Cuan Álainn facility does not operate as a front-line emergency domestic violence service.
It provides step-down or transitional accommodation to support the transition to a permanent, settled home. This can include survivors of domestic violence who are making the transition from emergency services to a new, permanent home.
Officials from my Department and Tusla recently met Respond! at its request to discuss the situation in Cuan Álainn centre. The Department sought additional information from Respond!, including information relating to its overall financial position. The most recent information provided indicates that Respond!, which comprises two companies, is in good overall financial health.
I hope that the matter can be satisfactorily resolved by allowing sufficient time for all avenues to be explored by the relevant parties. This will need to include discussion with other parties, including the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, as it would appear that these families have pressing housing needs.
Cuan Álainn provides important services, and I am anxious to do what I can to resolve the issue that has arisen. With this in mind, I have agreed to meet Respond! and I am hopeful that this meeting can be arranged shortly. My private office is seeking to arrange such a meeting and I will check progress. A few days ago, officials were in the process of dealing with this. Tusla will continue to work closely with service providers to ensure that women and children fleeing domestic violence receive all necessary emergency support.