Counselling Service, CLASP The Carers Centre
How is the initiative run?
Carers come to the counselling service through self-referral or statutory agencies and are initially offered six sessions, though this can be extended in cases where further sessions are deemed necessary.
Counselling is provided entirely by volunteers (currently a team of 20), coordinated by one paid post which is filled by an experienced counsellor. The coordinator takes referrals, makes the original assessment, matches carers with counsellors and provides supervision and support.
CLASP has established relationships with several higher education institutions which provide a steady stream of volunteer counsellors, with the work at CLASP counting towards a counselling qualification. Because these volunteers are trainee counsellors, they are already developing their skills, which means they only need support from the coordinator rather than intensive training.
Counselling sessions take place in two specially fitted rooms at CLASP or in private space in community centres. It is preferable to see carers outside the home, but if all else fails, counsellors can make home visits.
After six sessions with a carer, a review meeting is held to determine whether further sessions are needed.
Because demand for counselling is high, waiting lists are sometimes in place.
What methods have been particularly effective?
CLASP’s Counselling Service has been successful because counselling is needed by carers but is not being provided elsewhere.
The high quality of the counselling at CLASP has meant that carers have experienced positive outcomes, and word has spread about the service.
Have there been any challenges along the way?
Demand for counselling is very high and there aren’t always enough resources to meet this demand. At times there are waiting lists before carers can access counselling.
Because funding uncertain, it can be difficult to plan for the future or to expand the service.
What hints and tips might help me get started?
It is a good idea to be clear about what services you want to provide and the resources you can realistically invest. There is likely to be high demand for counselling and the outcomes are likely to be positive, but remember that it can be a constant struggle to find funding.
Are there any useful documents that could assist me?
Where can I get further information?
CLASP The Carers Centre
4th Floor, Matrix House
7 Constitution Hill
Phone: 0116 251 0999
When was this information collected?
11 June 1010