Statement in relation to wind down of Cura - 13 June 2018
Cura is working towards winding down its services by June 15th, 2018. This decision emerges directly from a strategic planning process, which commenced in 2015. After thorough consideration and a detailed review of our service model we have decided to wind down our services by June 15th 2018.
When Cura commenced providing supports to women seeking assistance with crisis pregnancies in 1977, we were one of two agencies providing such a vital service. Today there are 14 various services, operating in a new regulatory environment with changing counselling quality standards compliance requirements. In this new and changed environment we have been experiencing decreasing service demands in line with national trends and we feel this decision, which has been considered carefully for a number of years, is now the correct one.
The decision to close Cura is also informed by the findings and recommendations of the Health Service Executive Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme (HSE SHCPP) Review of Funding and Service Delivery Models of Crisis Pregnancy Counselling Services, November 2017 undertaken by Mazar’s and further reinforced by Minister Simon Harris’s recent announcement of the decision to regulate the professions of counselling and psychotherapy.
We are very proud of all that Cura has achieved over the past forty-one years. Volunteers and staff have provided a vital service used and valued by women men and other family members right across this island. We are especially thinking of all those who came to us in confidence, as we make this announcement today. It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with all who benefited from this service, often at times where no other similar support was available.
The Irish Bishops’ Conference has been informed of this decision and it is our understanding that the Conference will be making a formal statement on Cura at their June meeting.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals and organisations that assisted us in various ways over the years, in particular the Cura counsellors who working on a voluntary basis, committed to training, service provision and ongoing professional development to ensure quality service provision and assisted so many people over forty-one years. A special thanks to the host families, who were so generous and caring at a time when this vital support was most needed.
In the early days we had no state funding, so we were entirely dependent on the support of the church and religious, voluntary donations and the efforts of volunteers and supporters at various levels. We also want to acknowledge the support of the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme in more recent years.
Charlotte Keery, Cura National PRO and former Cura counsellor said today, “This is a difficult day for all of us but also a proud day as from 1977, we in Cura were there to care, to listen without judgment for as long as the person needed. We then helped them to access other supports in response to their individual needs as their crisis lessened and they began take control of their future plans, as we are doing now in a somewhat more strategic way in 2018. It’s time to pass our work on to other counselling services who will continue in the support and care of each individual who needs them.”
Over a 21-year period, from 1996, when aggregated records were introduced, Cura managed 163,400 face-to-face and telephone counselling sessions with clients.
For information: Contact Young Communications, Dublin - 087 2471520
Note for publication:
If people need to access support, including Crisis or Unplanned Pregnancy Support and Counselling, Counselling and Support after an Abortion, or Support for Parents of a New Baby, please see http://www.sexualwellbeing.ie for a list of service providers that operate under the mandate of the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme