Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Department of Counselling Services move enhances client experience

The Department of Counselling Services and two of its units have relocated to their new home to create a more joined-up approach.

The new home is at 87 West Apollo House on Mary Street, George Town.

The Family Resource Centre (FRC) and the Counselling Centre (TCC) co-located last week. The Department’s third entity is the Caribbean Haven Residential Centre in Breakers. 

According to the FRC’s Programme Coordinator, Charmaine Miller, the relocation serves several long-held goals. 

“We have co-located because we share some mutual clients and this allows us to adopt a more strategically joined-up approach,” she said. 

“Given that FRC and TCC run some complementary services, it helps to have both parenting and counselling-related services sited in the same building. Clients can now move from one section of the department to the next to access enhanced services more easily than ever.” 

The offices, located across from JEC Property Consultants, now have further client-focused benefits. More spacious than their former open plan location on North Sound Road, FRC’s parent coaches now each have their own offices to allow for individualised parenting services for families in more private settings.

Also, with the increased space, the FRC has the flexibility to run more programmes in future. 

“The move is already promoting more collaboration between our agencies,” said DCS Director Judith Seymour. 

“Another advantage is that we have been able to greatly increase face-to-face meetings with clients. Previously both the FRC and TCC found that there was high demand on the one evening we offered walk-in services after regular working hours. We have now added a second evening and opened up other spaces during the week. In addition, other changes have made our office hours more responsive and more client-friendly while allowing greater scope for synergy between our programmes,” she concluded. 

Revised intake hours are significantly increased, and are now offered on Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 1pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 7pm and Wednesdays from 9am to 4pm. 

Commenting on the move, the Minister for Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour said: “The co-location shows the department’s commitment to advancing one of Government’s key outcome goals, which is having stronger communities and support for the most vulnerable.” 

The co-location is part of the DCS’s wider client-centred approach, which includes its newly-launched multi-agency website,

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