Thursday, 7 November 2019
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Child and Family Agency Services
198. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which counselling services through Tusla can be expanded and made more readily available; if training courses for such counsellors are being provided; if so, the extent to which they are provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45794/19]
Tusla, the Child and Family Agency provides funding to counselling services, through a network of community-based counselling service providers and Family Resource Centres that offer the following types of counselling/psychotherapy and support:
- Marriage and Relationship Counselling;
- Child Counselling;
- Rainbows peer support programme for children;
- Bereavement Counselling and support on the death of a family member.
Many funded counselling services are community-based, and have evolved from a volunteer-led model to a service provided by professional counsellors and psychotherapists on a “low or no-cost” basis. These organisations provide face-to-face counselling delivered by professional counsellors or psychotherapists.
Tusla supports a broad range of national, regional and local organisations offering counselling services, with 244 groups in receipt of funding in 2018. Tusla funding to such counselling services in 2018 was some €6.2m. This funding is provided where there is a genuine need and demand for services and where they can be provided at low cost to adults, couples, children, young people and families.
Many of the larger organisations funded by Tusla are members of the Association for Agency-based Counselling & Psychotherapy (AACPI). Other counselling services are being offered in certain Family Resource Centres throughout the country. These services are not funded through the Family Resource Centre Programme, but through a specified funding mechanism for commissioned counselling services.
I have asked Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy with regard to the availability of services and the training and development of counsellors, which are operational matters for Tusla.