Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (191)

Kathleen Funchion


191. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 609 of 21 May 2019, the reason no specific budget for counselling services is being provided for a refuge (details supplied); the alternative sources of funding she recommends the refuge to apply for in order that it can continue to provide critical and essential services to vulnerable women and children; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24695/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The refuge referred to by the Deputy which also services a neighbouring county receives funding from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency to provide emergency refuge accommodation, support and outreach services to vulnerable women and children.

The allocation of resources to services is an operational matter for Tusla. In line with its commissioning process, Tusla allocates funding to services based on prioritised needs.  I understand Tusla wrote to the Deputy on the 22 May, 2019, outlining the means by which counselling needs for victims of domestic violence are met.

In 2018, the service received funding of €506,468 from Tusla. Service and funding arrangements for 2019 are currently being completed. Available resources for domestic violence services focus as a priority on dealing with the crisis, safety and support needs of victims.

Since becoming Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I have secured additional resources for domestic sexual and gender based violence services. This year, investment for the further investment and development of these services has increased by €1.5 million. A proportion of this funding will allow:

- 12 new outreach workers for women and children affected by domestic violence to improve access to support and services. An outreach worker will be assigned to one of the areas referred to by the Deputy.

- The roll out of a 12 week healing programme for children who have been impacted by domestic abuse which also helps parents/guardians to understand their child’s experiences and support their recovery.. 

It is important that the needs of victims of domestic violence are met in the best way possible, with due attention to the quality, accessibility, and outcome of services. I am committed to supporting the Agency in meeting the needs of individuals who experience domestic violence.