A pilot project to co-ordinate supports for children who have been sexually abused is to open in Galway early next year.

The Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, Health Minister Simon Harris and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan announced the One House pilot project this week, and the joint approach will involve these three departments working together along with Tusla, the HSE and Gardai.

Currently, where there are concerns that a child has been sexually abused, the child has to be interviewed separately by Gardai and Tusla child protection social workers, and they may need to have a forensic and medical examination.

These assessments may all take place in different places at different times, while under the proposed model, all services and supports will operate under one roof.

Minister Zappone said the pilot centre for a new inter-agency service to work with children who have been sexually abused and their families will open in Galway early next year.

She said the new approach is aimed at ensuring children are not re-traumatised by having to recount the details of their ordeal a number of times to different people.

 

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