Speaking at CARI’s 2015 Annual Report Launch by Geoffrey Shannon, Government Special Rapporteur for Children, in Buswells Hotel CEO Mary Flaherty announced that CARI will seek an urgent meeting with TUSLA, at the highest level, to seek an immediate increase in funding. Currently, to allow CARI to has offer a service to the 92 children on their current waiting list who have suffered the aftermath of Child Sexual Abuse and are in need of therapeutic services. CARI is determined to provide a service to these children as quickly as possible and will also seek the support of Minister Zappone for theiris demandapplication.
Ms Flaherty added “despite the fact that CARI offered an18% increase in appointments in 2015 the number of childrens waiting for therapy also increased and this has continued into 2016. For over a year now, CARI, has brought its expertise to TUSLA developing a new national service, and has been campaigninging quietly in the backgroundwith the statutory services in this context for over a year now conscious that TUSLA is trying to develop a new national service, in which CARI has involvement. To date many management and co-ordination posts have been recruited filled but so far not one additional therapeutic hour has resulted or is currently planned. CARI is adamant that the These children who are on their waiting list, should not have to wait while new services are developed.
CARI’s current capacity, utilizing public and statutory funds, allows CARI to provide therapy to about fifty-five children a year and support to the parent/carer. As some clients need to attend for more than one year and new children are being referred every month it follows that waiting times will rise to over 18 month on average between the two centres, from a current average of one year. The stress on clients, referrers and CARI therapist is currently intense and would become unbearable and indefensible.
CARI is seek a one off increase in funding of €200,000 in 2017 to allow the organization recruit additional therapists to see these children in a clinically appropriate time and deal with this backlog, due in part to the cumulative cutbacks of the recession. Since July 2015 CARI has been seeking additional funding to deal with the waiting list of children and their parents/carers, with no success. We have been met with new demands and clinically doubtful alternatives that can and have further traumatized these children and/or failed to meet their needs. And while that frustrating and fruitless process went on, the list kept growing even with some clients accessing being facilitated to attend private therapy or adult services.
CEO Mary Flaherty concluded “If TUSLA does not provide additional funding for 2017 CARI may have to think of the unthinkable and consider closing the waiting list until waiting times are reduced to a clinically approved level (max 6 months”).” We are loath to do this as it would leave children and families with no hope at all, explained CARI’s Head of Therapy, Ms Monica Murphy.
CEO Mary Flaherty 087 9582250.
Founded in 1989 CARI is a leading voluntary provider of therapy and other services to children who have experienced sexual abuse, and their families and carers
Annual Report 2015 view here