The Ombudsman for Children is calling on the Government to re-double its effort to generate sufficient suitable social housing for families.

The calls come following an investigation by the ombudsman into a case where a mother and her children waited almost two years to be rehoused after becoming homeless due to domestic violence.

The ombudsman launched an investigation after receiving a complaint from a mother who was unhappy with the delay in securing her family a home and the quality of emergency accommodation she and her children were placed in.

The woman and her children, who ranged in ages from five to 17, had spent three months in a women's refuge and a year-and-a-half in a number of hotels and B&Bs.

A report by the ombudsman, which was published today, concluded that the children were without a stable home for 20 months due to a number of issues.

It said the council that was dealing with the woman's housing application had referred them to the wrong housing support service for assessment.

The report concluded that much of what the family had to go through in trying to access social housing had adverse affects on the children.

It issued a number of recommendations, including that a review of the application procedures for families who have experienced domestic violence be carried out to ensure that children's best interests are prioritised.