Thursday, 19 November 2020

Ceisteanna (265)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

265. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the progress to date in developing a national services development plan to deal with domestic abuse and coercive control; if it is planned to have such plan commenced in 2020; the role of an organisation (details supplied) and its 38 frontline member services in developing a comprehensive national response to domestic abuse; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37727/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The response to Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) is a cross Departmental and multi-agency issue. Policy is coordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE). Under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has statutory responsibility for the care and protection of victims of DSGBV.

The Programme for Government sets out a number of commitments regarding DSGBV, including an audit on segmentation of DSGBV responsibilities across government departments and agencies. The audit will assist in developing proposals on the appropriate infrastructure required to ensure that all of the issues related to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence are addressed in the most holistic and effective way possible. The audit will inform the development of the third National Strategy on DSGBV. Work is already underway led by the Department of Justice in this regard. 

The Deputy will be aware that Tusla is currently undertaking a strategic review of domestic violence accommodation provision, which is intended to inform a plan for the future commissioning of domestic violence accommodation services. Tusla-funded domestic violence service providers and other key stakeholders, including the organisation to which the Deputy refers, have engaged with Tusla in developing this national commissioning plan. This engagement has also been a key component of other planning for domestic violence responses around the country in recent years, where a collaborative and iterative approach to overall planning has been used to achieve greater national coherence and local responsiveness.

In 2020 my Department provided €25.3m to Tusla for DSGBV services. During the current public health emergency, Tusla has worked directly with services to identify emerging challenges. Additional funds of some €2m are being allocated during 2020 to ensure these essential services can respond appropriately to support victims of DSGBV.