Income of abuse survivor charity drops by half as referrals dip

Income of abuse survivor charity drops by half as referrals dip

Fewer referrals to Towards Healing has led to a drop of income from €2m in 2017 to €900,000 in 2022, according to its chairman.

The charity was established in 2011 to reflect the commitment of the Church to support survivors of religious, institutional and clerical abuse and their families.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic, chairman of Towards Healing Greg Price said the “major reason” for the drop in funds is the “overall decrease in referrals to the charity over the past few years”.

“As the number of referrals decreases, the budget requirements adjust accordingly to ensure that resources are allocated based on actual need. Following a review of Towards Healing services in 2021, the charity restructured to focus on its mission and the number of staff reduced,” Mr Price said.

As a “demand led service” it remains committed to its mission, values, and vision, ensuring that “the compassionate, empowering, and hopeful support provided to survivors and their families is maintained at the highest standard”, the chairman said, adding the charity continues to adapt its budget annually to align with the changing needs of the survivors it serves.

Mr Price said that over the years Towards Healing has adapted its approach by integrating telehealth options for delivering counselling services –  ensuring continued access to support during the pandemic.

“This change allowed the charity to stay accessible and responsive to survivors’ needs despite physical restrictions. Additionally, Towards Healing adopted a ‘Trauma-Informed Approach’, reflecting a commitment to understanding and addressing the complex trauma experienced by survivors, emphasising a holistic method of rehabilitation,” he said.

Looking to the future Mr Price said the charity is committed to maintaining and enhancing its ‘Trauma-Informed Approach’, emphasising holistic rehabilitation to enable survivors to recover, heal, and rebuild their lives.

“This includes the introduction of group therapy sessions and a stronger focus on addressing psychosocial needs. Collaborating with other organisations to ensure comprehensive support for survivors is also a priority. Recognising the profound impact of complex trauma, Towards Healing aims to intensify its focus on monitoring and evaluation, regular reviews, and case management to ensure the highest standards of practice,” he said.

“The overarching goal is to align these initiatives with the charity’s mission of providing compassionate listening, support, and healing that empowers survivors and their families, and its vision of a world where every child and adult can thrive safely.”