A joint report by the European Union and the Council of Europe on the implementation of the Barnahus model in Ireland has been published.
The Barnahus model, pioneered in Iceland, brings together forensic, child protection, medical, therapeutic and policing services in a child-centred way when sexual abuse has occurred or is suspected.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) is working with the Department of Justice and the Department of Health in developing this new model of service in Ireland.
A pilot service in Galway was launched in September 2019. Since January 2022 services in Galway are operational in a bespoke centre on the outskirts of Galway city, which allows relevant agencies to provide services for children under one roof.
The European project seeks to support the expansion of the Barnahus model of service, adapted to an Irish context.
Two other locations in the east and south will provide national coverage and access for victims and families to the service.
The new model will ensure close coordination and cooperation between key services, and support families in caring for their child.