Council responds after Coventry sexual abuse charity forced to close referrals waiting list - The Coventry Observer

Council responds after Coventry sexual abuse charity forced to close referrals waiting list

Coventry Editorial 31st Jan, 2024 Updated: 31st Jan, 2024   0

THE CITY Council has moved to clear up a situation after Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC) claimed the authority had cut funding to the charity.

CRASAC announced it had closed its waiting list for new referrals on Wednesday, January 31 on the back of this decision, and would do the same for under 13s on April 1.

Council chiefs said the CRASAC contract, which was awarded back in 2019 based on the number of people accessing support at the time, ends in June.

But the council said it was not cutting the service, but instead decided, rather than renew a contract which was not addressing increasing waiting lists, it would look to provide a new, system-wide improved approach.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “We will ensure services continue to be delivered, and are currently looking at alternative ways of doing this as a priority, with CRASAC continuing to offer one-to-one therapeutic support.

“This service is also available from qualified counsellors and psychotherapists, whether privately or through the NHS.

“Meetings have already taken place where CRASAC have been present and commitments were made to work together to map out the different routes into different types of support.

“CRASAC also has multiple sources of funding and several other contracts.

“We aim to help the system (including CRASAC) to develop ways of working that means individuals are signposted to the most appropriate service for their needs and do not have to wait for an unreasonable length of time on a waiting list.”

Natalie Thompson, CEO of CRASAC said: “The demand for our services rises year on year and we currently have a list of almost 500 people waiting to access our specialist counselling support.

“Due to the sudden decrease in funding, we are unable to continue operations at the current level and have taken the difficult decision to close our waiting list to new clients until a sustainable funding resolution can be met.

“This has not been an easy decision to make, and leaving survivors without the specialist support they need is heartbreaking.

“But we cannot ethically continue to accept referrals knowing that they could be waiting up to 18 months to get the help they need.”


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