Friday 19 January 2018

First counselling service specifically for children affected by homicide launched

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Daniel O Connor

Ireland’s first bereavement counselling service for children affected by homicide in Ireland has been launched.

Operated by Advocates for Victims of Homicide (AdVIC), the free of charge counselling service will be the first of its kind in Ireland to give support directly to children after the death of a family member.

AdVic Chair Barbara Clinton spoke about the effect trauma from a homicide can potentially have on a child and the necessity for this new service.

“Families across the country are left devastated after their loved one is taken from them,” Clinton said.

“While the impact on adults is terrible, the effect on children is far worse.  Having a parent or sibling suddenly disappear from their lives can fundamentally disrupt their lives and leave them dealing with many issues as they grow older.”

“Although we have developed and offered counselling services to families of victims of homicide for a decade, it has been clear for some time that we had to develop a specific bereavement service for children based on feedback we have received.”

The service will be provided by a group of professional counsellors trained by groups such as An Garda Síochána, the office of Director of Public Prosecutions and the State Pathologist.

Developed by counselling co-ordinator Noeleen Slattery Lee and Brid Smith, Chair of the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network, the service will run in conjunction with AdVIC’s existing counselling resources.

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