187. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to recent reports which raise concerns regarding child protection and governance policies and practices within an organisation (details supplied); the extent of funding provided to that organisation; and if she plans to provide a mechanism for the exchange of information regarding child protection concerns on a cross-Border basis between Ireland and Northern Ireland. [50045/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): My Department provided €762,444 to Extern in 2020, relating to five projects. To date, the organisation has been paid €526,821 in 2021, and this amount is expected to rise to €795,711 by the end of the year – also in respect of five funded projects.
The Department suspended funding to this organisation in December 2020 when it became aware that an incident of alleged child abuse in another jurisdiction had not been reported to the appropriate authorities in this jurisdiction.
Following detailed and ongoing engagement with Extern by both my Department and Tusla, and receipt of assurances relating to the governance of the organisation, funding to this organisation was restored in April 2021.