I propose to take Questions Nos. 556 and 557 together.
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has responsibility for the provision of funding, co-ordination and support to 22 organisations which provide emergency refuge and emergency non-refuge accommodation to victims of domestic violence and their children. A refuge facility in South Dublin which has been temporarily closed for essential refurbishment works is expected to re-open as a domestic violence refuge in Quarter 2 of this year. In total, 155 family units of emergency accommodation are provided - 145 in emergency refuges and 10 in emergency non-refuge accommodation.
Information on the number of adults and children that spent time in Tusla funded emergency domestic violence refuge accommodation and emergency non-refuge accommodation, and the average length of time spent in emergency accommodation, is collected retrospectively. Tusla has advised that this information for 2018 is not yet available but will be finalised later this year.
Tusla also advises that it does not have comprehensive data with regard to the number of women and children whom Tusla funded domestic violence refuges were unable to accommodate in each of the years 2016 to 2018.
Tusla has advised that victims may seek emergency refuge accommodation from more than one service on any one occasion before their accommodation needs are met. In some cases, inquiries may be conducted before it is established that the individual or family requires emergency accommodation.
Refuges that are unable to meet the needs of individuals and families who require emergency accommodation make every effort to ensure that they are safe.
There are challenges in ensuring that there is an appropriate configuration of spaces available to all individuals and families who require emergency refuge accommodation.
It is important to note that Tusla seeks to achieve the optimum use of emergency accommodation while also focusing on prevention and effective community-based services to avoid, in so far as possible, the need for use of refuges or emergency non-refuge accommodation by vulnerable women and children.