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Evidence shows counselling cuts ill-advised, says NZAC

14 May 2012 New Zealand Association of Counsellors

Evidence shows counselling cuts ill-advised, says NZAC

Government proposals to cut Family Court counselling services seem ill-advised given the increasing demand for marriage and relationship counselling.

The president of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC), Jonathan Loan, is concerned government may cut funding for the six sessions of counselling the Family Court provides for couples in conflict.

“The focus of these sessions is on resolving issues outside of the court system, thus reducing costs related to legal proceedings and generating more beneficial and advantageous outcomes for all parties.”

Mr Loan says counselling service Lifeline has indicated it is getting an increasing number of calls for marriage and relationship counselling.

“This shows clearly that there is a demand for this kind of assistance in the community and it does seem ill-advised to cut funding for these very services which are provided by the Family Court.”

The Family Court funds six sessions of marriage and relationship counselling.

The counselling focuses on dispute resolution and communication for couples experiencing conflict, particularly around care of their children. It is also available to separated couples.

The government-funded counselling is coming under pressure as part of a review of the Family Court.

NZAC supports the retention of accessible counselling services as a means of helping couples resolve conflict and improve relationships, and support families and vulnerable children.


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