A new initiative to assist suspected victims of child sexual abuse has been launched in Galway.
The Barnahus, Onehouse Galway project will bring all aspects of the investigative process under one roof, in an effort to minimise the trauma for children and young people.
It is hoped that having health, medical, policing and therapeutic services at the same location will improve detections and make the reporting process more straightforward.
The multi-agency approach has been developed following research into the manner in which such cases are dealt with in other jurisdictions.
The initiative is being launched by the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan at an event in Galway.
The child and family agency Tusla says the Barnahus model will provide a safe space where children can access teams of gardaí, social workers and other professionals working together.
The agency says a child centred approach will remove the need for suspected victims to repeat their trauma at a number of separate locations.
It will also lead to improved family supports.
Ms Zappone says the initiative will be a model for a more extensive service nationally.
It has been devised following extensive consultations between the Departments of Health, Justice and Children, along with the involvement of Tusla, the HSE and gardaí.
Tusla says the provision of support services under one roof should allow for all aspects of care in such circumstances to be more effective, as well as assisting with conviction rates.