Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (34)

Catherine Connolly


34. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs her plans to establish further child and adolescent sexual assault treatment services units in addition to the unit located in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22254/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I thank the Deputy for her question, which I take it is referring to the planned Barnahus/One House service for child victims of sexual abuse.

As the Deputy notes the plan is that the pilot service will open this year in Galway.  A key aspect of the pilot is to establish the governance arrangements where three agencies, Tusla, the HSE and An Garda Síochána work together to provide the services needed by child victims of sexual assault in a child centred way, that supports them and their families. The interdepartmental group, established to provide oversight of the development of this service, will, in conjunction with those working in the pilot site, agree on the optimal number and location of centres.   

The One House project is informed by international best practice, and is based on the Icelandic Barnahus model. The model brings together the forensic, protection, health, therapeutic and policing services in a child centred way in order to minimise as far as possible any additional trauma for the child and their family. 

This new approach is aimed at ensuring children are not re-traumatised by having to recount the details of their ordeal a number of times to different people.