“I am delighted to say that the pilot centre for a new interagency service to work with children who have been sexually abused, and their families, will open in early 2019 in Galway. This new approach is aimed at ensuring children are not retraumatised by having to recount the details of their ordeal a number of times to different people. ”

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone. Courtesy of Elaine Edwards, The Irish Times, 30 Oct 2018.

“A NEW PILOT project in Galway will aim to ease trauma for children who have been sexually abused.

The ‘One House’ model, which will be rolled out in early 2019, was announced by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr Katherine Zappone, Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan and Minister for Health Simon Harris today.

The three departments are working with three agencies – Tusla, the Health Service Executive and An Garda Síochána – to establish the centre.

Currently, where there are concerns that a child has been sexually abused they have to be interviewed by gardaí and Tusla child protection social workers, and may need to have 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.” – Órla Ryan, The Journal, 30 Oct 2018.

“Mr Flanagan said the One House centre should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of child sexual abuse services and develop specialist expertise, skills and knowledge “in this complex area for the benefit of children who have suffered from sexual abuse”.

Mr Harris said multiple interviews added to the trauma and the pain children and their families faced when a child had experienced sexual abuse.

“These families have already endured so much and we, as a Government, must do everything we can to assist them during this difficult time but also to ease their burden in any way possible,” he said.

The One House project is informed by international best practice, such as the Barnahus model in Iceland and the Child Advocacy Centre models in the US.” – Elaine Edwards, The Irish Times, 30 Oct 2018.

TUSLA is a PROMISE 2 project partner.

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