Brief Intervention Counselling Service Report 2015
Brief Overview of service:
In 2011 the HSE Addiction Service, the Treatment and Rehabilitation Subcommittee and the Wicklow Child & Family Project, project promoter of the counselling service, were all instrumental in the implementation of the Brief Intervention Counselling Service. The idea behind the Brief Intervention Counselling service was that it would support and compliment the HSE counselling service and the HSE outreach team.
Through consultation with the stakeholders it was decided a Brief Intervention Counselling model was the most appropriate, cost effective option to provide a suitable intervention for service users. It was agreed that the service would be monitored and reviewed to assess its impact and to ensure that it fulfilled its purpose, met identified need and was value for money. Positive results of the yearly reviews and the availability of ongoing funding ensured the continuity of this much needed service.
The purpose of the BIC service is to meet the needs of individuals affected by addiction issues. Clients are offered one to one brief intervention counselling sessions to assist them in understanding and managing their substance use. The counsellors support the clients in making informed choices and decisions and assist them through a short series of goal focused sessions.
The Wicklow Child & Family Project Manager engaged appropriately qualified counselling staff; deals with all queries and organises client reviews where relevant. A psychotherapist, with appropriate addiction training, and 2 counselling psychologists were engaged, two female and one male, this allowed for gender balance. Engaging 3 counsellors assisted in accommodating the service geographically and ensured that the high numbers requiring a service would not have a lengthy wait. The counsellors were affiliated to a recognised body. They abided by their affiliated body code of ethics and adhered to the Department of Children & Youth Affairs Children first: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
Each counsellor was actively engaged in supervision with a supervisor affiliated to a recognised body. All provided their own professional insurance and indemnified relevant organisations. The service was managed so that it would be easily accessible, goal specific, a minimal waiting period and no long assessment process The BIC service would be offered for an initial 6 week period with the option of an additional 6 weeks following a review with the project promoter and counsellor.
Initially a referral pathway approach was not adopted i.e. clients were not referred in and were not referred on by the service. Relevant information would be given to clients on addiction services and general services in the east coast region that may be suitable to their needs. However a referral pathway approach was adopted following the establishment of the Rehabilitation Integration Service. This service, alongside other ECRDATF funded agencies, refer into the BIC service. Were appropriate following active participation in the BIC service clients may be referred onto either Living Life Counselling service, Wicklow Child & Family Project therapeutic service or the HSE addiction counsellors.
The BIC service is delivered from 3 separate premises; a unit in the Wicklow Enterprise Centre, House No 3, Collins Street Arklow and the Wicklow Child & Family Project main office in Wicklow Town. The house in Arklow and the unit in the Wicklow Enterprise Centre also house the ECRDATF Rehabilitation Integration Workers and provide a meeting space for the ECRDATF.
The Wicklow Child & Family Project engages in a Licence agreement with Crosscare at House No 3 Collins St Arklow, which is jointly leased with Living Life Counselling Service.
House No 3 Collins St Arklow Town also provides a meeting space for a Family Support Group and Narcotics Anonymous.
Management of cases was carried out between the project promoter and the counsellor. Policies & procedures, intake forms and confidentiality policies were implemented. Attendance and commitment to the process were closely monitored. As per the policy if a client did not attend for two consecutive weeks without prior cancellation they then reverted back onto the waiting list. If the client was referred to the BIC service from another agency that agency was informed of this decision in order that the client was not left unsupported.
When a client was approaching the end of the 6 week term the project promoter, the counsellor and were appropriate the referrer reviewed the client’s progress to assess if a further 6 weeks would prove beneficial to the client. If a decision was made that a further 6 weeks would be of benefit this would then be offered to the client with their full agreement. If it was identified a client may benefit from longer term therapy following their engagement with the BIC service this was discussed with the project promoter and a suitable service was identified.
The HSE input in to the development of the service was integral to best practice. The creation of an interagency dynamic also assisted in meeting the need of clients who wanted immediate support and were not looking for a long term engagement or harm reduction service.
The ECRDATF funded projects were all informed of the service and an information leaflet was designed with service information and distributed. ECRDATF funded projects and projects in the region were informed that people seeking support for their addiction could also contact the service directly.
2015 BIC service operational issues and outcomes:
Mr Adam Jensen – Counselling Psychologist
Ms Tracy O’Neill – Counselling Psychologist
Ms Bernie McGrane – Psychotherapist, Addiction Counsellor
Referral Pathway & Case Management:
Protocols were put in place to ensure a structured referral process into the BIC service, these include referral form, intake form, confidentiality agreement, client counselling policy and exit letter. Regular links were established between referrers, counsellors and project promoter to facilitate ongoing monitoring of the service. This ensured an active interagency approach to the delivery of the service and effective case management which resulted in the client’s needs being addressed appropriately.
ECRDATF & HSE Rehabilitation Integration Workers – Tiglin - Arklow Springboard - Living Life – Simon - HSE Outreach Team – Probation – GP’s.
Close links with ECRDATF and sub committees.
The hourly rate paid per session to the counsellor was €50; the cost for no show at scheduled appointment was €30 per hour.
NDTRS Health Research Board:
Regular data is collected from clients accessing the BIC, (with their approval), and forwarded to the NDTRS.
*Please refer to statistical data attached.
Thanks go to the ECRDATF, ECRDATF Coordinator, Treatment & Rehabilitation committee, ECRDATF funded projects, ECRDATF Rehabilitation workers, HSE Outreach Team and HSE Rehabilitation workers for their continued support during 2015.
Christine Keegan, Project Promoter
Manager Wicklow Child & Family Project