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Canberra Today 13°/15° | Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Toora Women misses out on ‘vital’ funding

A SUPPORT organisation fears women and children escaping domestic violence in Canberra will miss out on vital services if it continues to be overlooked by the ACT government.

It’s the second time Toora Women has failed to secure ACT government funding for trauma counsellors, despite an increase in demand for the not-for-profit’s services.

“On any given day we have 80 children in our residential services who have had significant trauma in their lives,” Toora Women CEO Susan Clarke-Lindfield said.  

“There’s a wealth of evidence that timely intervention in trauma counselling can make all the difference.”

Ms Clarke-Lindfield said the organisation needs $350,000 to employ two specialist children’s counsellors to fill an identified gap in their service provision.

“What we want is a couple of trauma counsellors in-house so that as soon as the child leaves that traumatic environment we can give them the support they need straight away,” she said.

Ms Clarke-Lindfield said she’s lobbied the ACT government for funding for the past three years and has made two budget submissions, both were rejected.

A spokesperson said the ACT government invests significantly in addressing family violence across the community, including $6.32 million in 2019-2020, with $100,000 given to Toora Women. 

But Ms Clarke-Lindfield said that’s not enough.

“It was just enough to employ a child and family worker for one year, what we are asking for is money for specialised trauma counsellors who provide therapeutic support for children as individuals,” Ms Clarke-Lindfield said.

“I don’t blame the ACT government, there are many worthy organisations that need funding, but that doesn’t alter the fact that there is a serious gap in trauma counselling services for children.”

The ACT government would not comment on future funding opportunities for Toora Women. 



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Belinda Strahorn

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