Issued: Sunday, 29 May 2016
Victims of crime with money problems will receive free financial counselling, thanks to a new partnership announced today by Attorney General Gabrielle Upton.
Under the new Comprehensive Services for Victims of Crime (CSVC) partnership, the NSW Government's Victims Services will work with Financial Counsellors' Association of NSW (FCAN) to give victims of crime facing financial hardship specialist help.
"Escaping a violent and abusive relationship or being unable to work because of a trauma often puts people in a difficult spot money-wise," said Ms Upton.
"Access to free, independent and confidential financial counselling can be a big help to people who have been victims of crime.
Members of FCAN will refer people who are facing psychological trauma suffered as a result of a crime to Victims Services for free trauma counselling, and Victims Services will refer people to FCAN for free, independent and confidential financial counselling.
"Victims Services will also provide professional development training for FCAN's expert counsellors, who will help victims to address their money issues, which may include using the financial hardship services of banks and other government agencies.
The financial hardship referral protocol was developed with assistance from the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation as part of its Take Kare mission to support victims of violence.
The Foundation's director and founder Ralph Kelly raised the issue of financial hardship for victims of crime with the NSW Government after his 18-year-old son Thomas was killed in a one-punch attack in Kings Cross in 2012.
Mr Kelly said, "We are pleased the state government has taken on board this Take Kare initiative of seeking to improve support in the community. Families suffer horrendously with what they have to deal with, let alone survive financially. Through Take Kare we strive to make a difference, to the many victims or potential victims of violence, where we can."
For more information go to www.victimsservices.justice.nsw.gov.au or contact:
National Hotline for Financial Counselling: 1800 007 007
Victims Access Line for trauma counselling and other support: 1800 633 063