Council to fund abuse services in Rotherham after funding cut
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Rotherham Abuse and Counselling Services (RothACS) was unsuccessful in its bid for £210,000 from the MoJ, which would have funded the services until 2025.
There were concerns from councillors that Rotherham would be “left behind” if the funding wasn’t found, but RothACS has secured £40,000 to continue its support this year.
That left a shortfall of £40,000 for the current financial year and around £130,000 for 2024/25.
Rotherham Council is set to agree to use £170,000 from its Covid recovery reserves to support RothACS for the remainder of the 2023-2024 financial year and the full 2024-2025 financial year.
Losing the funding would have meant the loss of 40 contracted staff counselling hours and 14 bank staff per week, which equates to 36 counselling sessions per week. A further six administration and management hours would have been lost.
The service provides free specialist counselling to anyone over the age of 13 who has experienced trauma and abuse, including domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation or child sexual abuse.
Over the last 12 months, RothACS said it has had contact with a total of 1,203 Rotherham residents, and 80 per cent of clients reported an increase in their mental health and wellbeing
It said the waiting list currently has 378 adults and children waiting for counselling.
The service had been able to provide approximately 100 sessions per week, but following the reduction in funding for this current financial year, this has reduced to 65.
The additional funding from the council for the remainder of this financial year will provide for a further 35 sessions per week.