The changes will bring Western Australia in line with other State and Territory Governments following feedback from victim-survivors and a review of current support services.
Under the National Redress Scheme, WA victim-survivors currently receive a lump-sum payment and then arrange counselling sessions themselves.
From 1 January 2023, the State Government will pay providers directly for the counselling sessions, up to the same maximum payment value of $5000.
The new system will remove the burden of victim-survivors trying to find an appropriate Counselling and Psychological Care (CPC) provider.
Victim-survivors entitled to receive these services will be assisted to choose a service provider from the Trauma Support Directory or otherwise, counsellors registered with professional counselling organisations.
Where victim-survivors wish to use counselling service providers that are not registered, the Redress Co-ordination Unit will undertake a credentialling process, intended to ensure that the service has appropriate professional standards in place.
“It’s important to note the CPC entitlement isn’t being cut or taken away, it is just being delivered in a different way,” Commissioner for Victims of Crime Kati Kraszlan said.
“Those who have an existing counsellor can continue seeing them, providing they meet the professional accreditation standards or have undergone the credentialling process used by the Redress Co-ordination Unit” she said.
CPC funds will be held for victim-survivors by the WA Government in a separate trust account that cannot be accessed for other purposes.
The new system comes into effect for all offers made by the National Redress Scheme after 1 January 2023.
Victim-survivors who have already received a CPC payment or receive offers from the National Redress Scheme before January 1, 2023 are not affected by the change.
For more information, refer to the National Redress Scheme - Support for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse page.