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Written Answers. - Victims of Abuse.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 298. Mr. Morgan Information on Arthur Morgan Zoom on Arthur Morgan  asked the Minister for Health and Children Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin  if the package of measures to assist victims of child abuse announced in May 1999 is continuing to operate; the number of counselling services established under that package which are still operating; if they will lose out financially in the current wave of cutbacks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24374/02]

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children (Mr. B. Lenihan): Information on Brian Lenihan Zoom on Brian Lenihan The National Counselling Service was formally established in September 2000 following the announcement in May, 1999 of a package of measures to assist those who suffered abuse in their childhood in residential institutions. Ten counselling services have been established, one in each health board area, with a wide geographical spread of centres.

[1094]In its first year of operation the service provided counselling to 1,807 people of whom 647 reported institutional abuse. Those who report institutional abuse are given priority within the National Counselling Service. In respect of 2003, additional financial resources have been allocated for services provided to adult victims of past abuse.

The National Counselling Service has worked together across health boards to achieve a nationally consistent service whilst simultaneously balancing regional and local demands. It has served as a model for integration with other services and enabled individual services to build on the experiences of others and to share learning for the benefit of clients. It has allowed for the development and implementation of good practice across boards, provided greater flexibility between services and, most significantly, enabled the National Counselling Service to maintain a greater focus on the needs and experiences of its clients.

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