Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (192)

Kate O'Connell


192. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs when a refuge (details supplied) will be fully operational again; the capacity it will have in terms of space and bed numbers for persons who wish to use it; if there is scope for children to accompany and stay with their guardians who may attend same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24696/19]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has advised me that the refuge referred to by the Deputy will be operational as a refuge in Quarter 3, 2019. The refuge was temporarily closed for essential refurbishment works due to concerns about electrical installations at the facility. An upgrade of the building has been completed. 

The newly upgraded facility provides nine family units of accommodation for victims of domestic violence. Each family unit of accommodation can accommodate one adult and up to 3 children.

The opening of the refuge has been delayed as there are important staffing matters to be addressed. Tusla is currently exploring the option of commissioning a specialist domestic violence organisation to manage the facility. It is expected that outreach services will be in place for service users in advance of accommodation services being made available in Quarter 3, this year. 

In the interim, Tusla agreed with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) to provide short-term accommodation to a cohort of homeless women. Tusla has reported that a number of these women are victims of domestic violence who are receiving support from specialist domestic violence organisations. This arrangement will continue until the service reopens as a domestic violence refuge.

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.