Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (513)

Róisín Shortall


630 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children if counselling fees paid in respect of a victim of childhood abuse (details supplied) are to be covered by his Department; and if he will make immediate arrangements to have such fees paid. [2055/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

The Department of Health and Children pays for counselling costs of those who, as children, were residents in institutions and who do not wish to avail of the State services already provided in this area. Applications for the payment of costs are submitted to a group made up of the Department of Health and Children, directors of counselling, National Counselling Service and the National Office for Victims of Abuse (NOVA).

In order for the costs to be paid certain criteria must be met which are:

The counsellor-therapist has completed an accredited qualification in counselling-therapy. The counselling-therapy training institute should be accredited to one of the following:


The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy


The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.


Family Therapy Association of Ireland


Irish Association of Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy


Irish Constructivist Psychotherapy Association


Psychological Society of Ireland


The British Psychological Society


Other appropriate body

The counsellor-therapist is engaged in external clinical supervision for a minimum of two hours per month with an accredited counsellor.

The counsellor-therapist has two years experience in counselling or psychotherapy. The counsellor-therapist provides proof of appropriate insurance for their practise. The counsellor-therapist provides a curriculum vitae accompanied by relevant certificates and proof of qualifications.

An application was received from the person concerned and was given full consideration. However, some of the above criteria were not met and the application was refused. An appeal has since been received and is under consideration by three directors of counselling, National Counselling Service, who were not involved in the original decision to refuse payment.