Written Answers. - Family Therapy and Counselling Centre.

Tony Gregory

Question:

210 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Health his response to an application for funding for a community-based family therapy and counselling centre (details supplied) in view of the very disadvantaged area in which the centre is based. [16429/96]

Health boards have statutory responsibility for the provision of family therapy and counselling services within their areas. The Eastern Health Board has received a number of applications for funding from organisations providing counselling services.

The board provides a wide range of counselling/therapy services and some voluntary agencies are providing similar services. It is important to avoid duplication of services and to ensure that the services offered by voluntary organisations are of a high quality and adhere to acceptable professional standards. The Eastern Health Board has decided to establish a multidisciplinary working group to develop a policy for these services. I understand that the group will address issues such as professional/ ethical standards, financial aspects, range of services and evaluation of services. Any application for financial assistance towards provision of counselling services, including the application from the organisation in question, will be considered in this context.