A pilot ‘One House’ centre for children who have been sexually abused will open in Galway in early 2019, it has been announced.
The model was developed by three government Departments along with Tusla, the HSE and An Garda Síochána.
Currently, where there are concerns that a child been abused, there needs to be an interview by the Gardaí and Tusla child protection social workers, and there may need to be a forensic and medical examination.
At the moment these assessments may all take place in different places at different times.
The child and family may then be referred to another service for counselling and support.
Under the proposed model, all services and supports will operate from under one roof.
Children who have been abused will now be brought to this child-friendly centre where they, and their family members, will meet with the Gardaí, doctors and social workers who will co-ordinate their assessments so the child does not have to repeat their experiences.
The pace at which the care and supports will be provided will be dictated by the child and their family’s needs.