National Standards

SAFE Ireland has been working with our members over a number of years to develop best practice responses to ensure that women and children’s emotional, practical, safety and child related needs are met.

A Conceptual Framework for Domestic Violence Services

Building on SAFE Ireland’s previous research of domestic violence service models and the extensive national evaluation of women’s service user needs and their outcomes, the need for a conceptual framework for Domestic Violence service provision was identified. Following engagement with the HSE National Children and Families office, SAFE Ireland began work on the framework in 2012 with Prof Cris Sullivan from Michigan State University (US).

Prof Sullivan’s works closely with SAFE Ireland to support service development in Ireland and her extensive experience in measuring women’s needs alongside her work in the US with the National Resource Centre on Domestic Violence in the US to develop a conceptual framework there were to prove to be key factors to the success of this project.

Following extensive international research it was identified that there was no conceptual framework for delivery of Domestic Violence services, but there was an emerging evidence base of women’s needs and outcomes from service engagement. The framework documents comprehensively why specialist organisations do what they do and what outcomes they expect.

A Framework, Principles and Standards for Specialist Domestic Violence Services in Ireland


Download “A Framework, Principles and Standards for Specialist Domestic Violence Services in Ireland” (size 2Mb)

National Principles & Standards for Domestic Violence Services in Ireland

Principles and standards are key components in ensuring the quality and safety of those using services. The Irish government strategy (2010-2014) on domestic, sexual and gender based violence had a key objective to promote high-quality standards in service delivery for victims of domestic violence.

During 2013 and 2014, SAFE Ireland worked with frontline services to develop a set of nationally agreed principles and standards for domestic violence service delivery. With expert input from Prof. Cris Sullivan, in Michigan State University (US), SAFE Ireland working with its members signed off on a final draft of the national principles and standards which were submitted to Tusla in 2014 and published in 2015.

A Framework for Domestic Violence Service Provision to Women and Children in Ireland


Download “A Framework for Domestic Violence Service Provision to Women and Children in Ireland” (size 3Mb)

Children First National Practice Policy for Domestic Violence Services

In early 2013 SAFE Ireland agreed to develop a national practice policy template for domestic violence services in order to update the previous national policy, particularly in light of changes to Children First guidelines.

Following an audit of existing Domestic Violence Child Protection and Welfare policies, an extensive desk based review of best practices in child protection and in domestic violence service provision was carried out. A draft policy was prepared for the HSE National Children and Families office.

Based on initial feedback from the HSE Children First leads, a consultation process was undertaken with all frontline domestic violence service providers in Ireland. Relevant feedback was incorporated into the policy template which was then submitted to the HSE in 2013 and subsequently Tusla in 2014. Further revisions to this template were then made in 2014 following additional feedback from Tusla. This policy will be finalised with Tusla in 2016 in line with recent Children First legislation.