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Tag counselling funding to social investment strategy

Tag counselling funding to social investment strategy, says Counselling Outcomes Researcher


Tag counselling funding to Governments social investment strategy, and adopt brief online mental health assessment tools for use in parent –teacher interviews, says Counselling Outcomes Researcher.

The ongoing conversation that is currently occurring regarding the dearth of counselling services in schools in New Zealand could be easily resolved if the counselling industry was able to table adequate data that proved their services were effective with their clients in order to attract additional funding, says a Counselling Outcomes Researcher.

Steve Taylor, Director of Relationship Matters Ltd, says that the Governments social investment strategy, whereby service providers attract funding on the basis of the results they achieve, is an excellent opportunity for the Counselling industry to begin adopting formalised service delivery outcome measurement tools in their work with clients.

In addition, Mr Taylor suggests that on-site online brief mental health self-assessment tools be made available to students and that if any concerns arise, that these concerns could be discussed with parents at parent-teacher interviews, if deemed appropriate to do so.

“The focus of the current conversation in the school counselling industry seems to be targeted at what they don’t have as opposed to what they can do with what they do have, and how they can attract the resources they say they need”.

“Social service delivery now exists within a funding environment of results-based accountability, which means that service delivery practitioners need to be able to prove that what they do actually works.

Families in the main are also a significant resource that appears to be missing in the debate –the conversational focus is replete with what the “experts” say they need, and largely absent of the client voice and the voices of these clients’ families of what would actually be helpful to them”.

I am a strong supporter of appropriate mental health service delivery to people in need, however I also believe that service provision must be anchored in evidence of positive effect size, as opposed to a funding agency throwing money at a particular service, crossing their fingers, and hoping for the best”.

Our young people in schools deserve the absolute best that there is to offer in terms of counselling and mental health assistance, but if service delivery in this space is not being formally measured for outcome, then what the Government is being asked to do is guess which service providers are effective – which is hardly evidenced-based practice” says Mr Taylor.


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