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Child and Family Agency Funding

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 16 June 2015

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ceisteanna (528, 529, 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

528. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will confirm that Tusla-Child and Family Agency has cut its funding to the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23914/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

529. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he was informed of the Tusla-Child and Family Agency decision before it was given to the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland; if he sought an explanation for it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23915/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

530. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he has received a report on the likely impact of the decision by Tusla-Child and Family Agency not to fund the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland on the provision of rape crisis services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23916/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

531. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if any of the existing Rape Crisis Centres will be forced to close as a result of the decision by Tusla-Child and Family Agency not to fund the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23917/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

532. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will confirm that a report to the Government in 2011 concluded that the State had twice the number of rape crisis centres as are believed necessary under European Union policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23918/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

533. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla-Child and Family Agency and / or his Department have adopted a position of rationalising rape crisis services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23919/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

534. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will confirm that a firm of consultants is currently reviewing the provision of rape crisis services; the persons who ordered this review; when it will conclude; if the report will be made public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23920/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

535. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if he will provide a breakdown by constituency for each of the years 2010 to 2014 and for 2015 to date of the funding arrangements for the 16 rape crisis centres, the 44 domestic violence services, including the 20 refuges, the two national networks, the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and Safe Ireland; his views on the current funding arrangements.; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23921/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 528 to 535, inclusive, together.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, assumed statutory responsibility with effect from 1 January 2014 for domestic, sexual and gender based violence services. These services were previously funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Sexual violence services are being developed by Tusla, as a national specialist service, so as to enable better outcomes for both children and adults who are survivors of sexual violence.

Tusla has undertaken a comprehensive review of sexual violence and domestic violence services. The purpose was to identify strategic priorities and set out a roadmap for the delivery of these services. Tusla considers that there is scope for a more co-ordinated and more equitable provision of these services across the country. In reviewing the make up of current services, it is seeking to address any identified gaps in services, to avoid duplication and to support effective delivery of frontline services nationally.

Tusla has appointed a national manager to ensure a single line of accountability for all resources in this important area. Tusla is currently in the process of recruiting eight additional staff for domestic, sexual and gender based violence services.

Tusla has commenced an external consultancy process to assist with developing key components of models of domestic and sexual violence service provision. This does not involve an evaluation of current service providers, but there will be outputs from this process, including a report for internal Tusla for planning and implementation purposes.

I requested that Tusla give particular priority to protecting frontline services, and in that context, funding for the 16 Rape Crisis Centres nationwide which provide services directly to rape survivors has been protected in 2015. Almost €4.0m in funding is dedicated to Rape Crisis Centres in 2015, with funding maintained at 2014 levels. I can confirm that no Rape Crisis Centres are to be closed.

Tusla has advised that it informed RCNI of it's decision to withdraw funding at a meeting last December. I subsequently became aware of this decision in January of this year and had ongoing discussions with Tusla in relation to its budgetary plans for 2015 including its decision to withdraw funding from RCNI.

The specific funding provided for RCNI by Tusla was to develop and maintain a database of information recorded by workers in Rape Crisis Centres. Tusla had concerns that this database did not capture information from all 16 Rape Crisis Centres as only 11 centres are affiliated with the Network.

In addition, Tusla did not always have timely access to the data collected, which is essential to support the delivery of high quality services across both the domestic violence and sexual violence services sector.

Consequently, Tusla has taken the decision to put in place a comprehensive data system that best meets the current and future data needs of a developing service. In order to plan properly for the future, Tusla needs access to complete and reliable information.

As part of revised governance arrangements, funded sexual violence services will provide information directly to Tusla, creating, for the first time, a comprehensive dataset on all such services funded by the Agency. This information is critically important as Tusla continues to reform services to ensure that we provide the best possible response to survivors of sexual violence.

Tusla's own analysis indicates that there is sufficient service provision with regard to Council of Europe guidelines and Tusla is currently looking at access to these services arising from population distribution.

In 2015, Tusla will spend approximately €19m on these services. The information sought by the Deputy in relation to a breakdown of funding by constituency has been requested from the Child and Family Agency and I will respond directly to the Deputy when the information is received.

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