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Domestic Violence figures must be included in monthly homeless reports – Ó Broin

23 November, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD


Following a parliamentary response from Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin has expressed surprise that the Department of Housing does not include the number of adults and children in Tusla domestic violence refuges in his department’s monthly homeless reports. 

Deputy Ó Broin said: 

“The fact that the Department of Housing has inadequate domestic violence survivor data to reference when making housing policy is not good enough. This may help to explain why domestic violence only has a short paragraph and a single action dedicated to it in the Minister’s flagship housing action plan.

“This is simply not good enough. Especially when you consider that, according to SAFE Ireland, as many as 4,000 women and children being accommodated on a yearly basis in emergency refuge accommodation are not being counted and recognised as being homeless.

“The Minister went on to state in his response that this issue is a matter for Tusla. However, “Minister Zappone, when asked by me if her department would publish the figures, said, ‘Tusla will continue to work with service provider organisations to achieve an enhanced dataset in 2017’.

“It would seem there is no sense of urgency from Minister’s Coveney and Zappone to deal with this matter. If there are no accurate figures being collected and collated, how is Tusla and the Department of Housing meant to know what sort of capacity they need, how much funding is needed and what social supports are necessary to help survivors of domestic violence.

“As a matter of urgency, the two ministers must ensure that this data is collected and included in the Department of Housing’s monthly homeless figures. The Department has a duty to publish the most accurate data they can. Omitting an estimated 4,000 people a year is brushing the problem under the carpet.” ENDS

Note: Please see PQ s and responses below 

Question No. 265 

Chun an Aire Tithíochta, Pleanála, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil: 
To the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government: 

To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if he will include figures provided from Tusla of adults and children in domestic violence refuges in his department's monthly homeless reports..

- Eoin Ó Broin.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016. 

Ref No: 36271/16


REPLY 

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney)

Responsibility for the provision , funding and oversight of services to support victims of domestic violence , including refuges, rests with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, under the aegis of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. 

The official monthly homeless data published by my Department is provided by housing authorities via the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS), the single integrated national data information system on the homeless emergency accommodation arrangements that are overseen by housing authorities. It therefore captures details of individuals utilising State-funded emergency accommodation arrangements that are overseen by housing authorities only. It does not include clients of domestic violence refuges, and any relevant data compilation and management in relation to those clients is a matter for Tusla in the first instance.

QUESTION NO: 574
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Dr. Katherine Zappone)
by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 22/11/2016 

* To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if she will publish figures provided from Tusla of adults and children in domestic violence refuges on a monthly basis to allow the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to include these figures in their monthly homeless reports..

Eoin Ó Broin T.D.

REPLY.

In 2016, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has allocated funding of €20.6m for a network of some 60 organisations providing services to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Ireland. Almost €12.0m is provided for emergency refuge and support services, a further €4.6m is provided for other community based domestic violence support services and €4.0m is provided for rape crisis centres. 

In 2016, Tusla is providing funding for 147 family units of emergency refuge spaces and eight family units of emergency non-refuge spaces. This includes eight additional family units of accommodation; six additional family units of emergency accommodation in Dublin and Kildare and two emergency safe housing units in Sligo which were funded by Tusla in 2016. On foot of Budget 2017, Tusla will be increasing its investment nationally on domestic violence services. The level of increase will be set out in Tusla's 2017 Business Plan, which will be submitted to me for consideration.

In 2016, Tusla established a project to address data and information needs for domestic, sexual and gender based violence services as a first step to achieving a comprehensive dataset across domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services and to enable it to meet its reporting obligations nationally. Tusla will continue to work with service provider organisations to achieve an enhanced dataset in 2017. Data collected will be published and shared with all relevant stakeholders. Tusla will also engage with stakeholders to progress data developments that are in the interest of service user needs.

My priority, and that of Tusla's, is to ensure that the needs of women and children fleeing domestic violence are being met in the most effective way possible. I am committed to continuing support for these vital services.

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