For some people, home is the most dangerous place to be. The COVID-19 pandemic is posing real challenges for the child protection system in Ireland.
A new online information hub to support families in crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic has been created by the School of Law at University College Cork (UCC) together with Irish charities, civil society organisations and other service providers.
The Family Law Hub is a free resource of up-to-date information and help for people who need advice and support on family law issues, including access to justice, custody arrangements; income and maintenance; children in care; disability and carers support; and broader supports for those experiencing domestic violence.
“We are telling people to stay at home to save lives, but for some, home is the most dangerous place to be,” says Dr Louise Crowley, clinic director and senior lecturer at the School of Law, UCC (pictured above).
“The Family Law Hub [can help] those who urgently need information and support in a time of crisis.”
Dr Crowley and her students in the UCC Family Law Clinic developed the resources in collaboration with many organisations including Barnardos, One Family, Safe Ireland; the Legal Aid Board; the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland; the Irish Family Lawyers’ Association; the Men’s Development Network; and the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI).
“The Family Law Hub is for people seeking to understand the sorts of issues arising during the pandemic and where they can access help, such as information, legal aid or family mediation, for those issues,” says John McDaid, chief executive of the Legal Aid Board.