Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (388)

Jennifer Whitmore


388. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the additional supports being provided to assist women and children facing domestic abuse under the current lockdown; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2900/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DGSBV). Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tusla has prioritised DSGBV Services as one of its key service areas.

In 2021, a total of €30m in funding will be made available by my Department to Tusla, for the provision of DSGBV services. This includes a €2.7m increase in core funding to €28m, with an additional €2m of once-off contingency funding also being made available to help services cope with the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Since the announcement of the latest Level 5 restrictions Tusla has advised the sector of the immediate availability of support from this €2m allocation.

This increase in funding for DSGBV services reflects my personal commitment on this issue. I am hopeful that these additional resources will enable organisations to continue their valuable supports for victims and their families at a very vulnerable time in their lives.

Tusla made specific immediate funding available to the sector before Christmas, including an increase in funding to the national helplines operated by Women’s Aid and Dublin Rape Crisis Centre to help manage capacity in light of anticipated extra demand.

Tusla will continue to keep the situation under ongoing review, and has systematic feedback and communication mechanisms in place with DSGBV service providers to ensure that it is made aware of all issues and difficulties that may arise for front line organisations at this time.