Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has statutory responsibility for the provision of care and protection to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
In 2018, Tusla is providing €23.8 million in funding to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services, an increase of €1.7m over 2017 funding.
This includes funding for some 58 services throughout the country that offer a range of emergency accommodation and community-based supports to individuals and families affected by domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. Many of these supports include counselling.
I was delighted to avail of the opportunity to visit the centre in question, on the invitation of your colleague, Deputy Funchion, earlier this year. I support and value the work of these services. I understand that Tusla has identified a need for development and expansion of outreach services in the region in question.
Tusla has also advised me that it has allocated additional funding to the centre in question for the development and expansion of outreach services in the centre's catchment area.
Tusla has also completed a needs analysis project in the region, which will inform its future plans for service delivery in those areas, as well as the commissioning of services and allocation of funding.
At present, I am not in a position to advise on the level of funding that will be available for services next year. This issue will be clarified in the context of the 2019 Estimates process, and having regard to the overall level of funding available to Tusla next year.
However, I can assure the Deputy that domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services are a priority for me.
It is important that the needs of victims and survivors of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence are met in the best way possible, with due attention to the quality, accessibility, and outcome of services.