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The Victims Counselling and Support Service (VCSS) is a program of Relationships Australia Qld (RAQ) and is funded through the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG). VCSS is a state-wide service which employs counsellors who are tertiary qualified and who have experience of working with people who have been affected by crime.
The role of a VCSS counsellor is a very rewarding one that incorporates a range of duties and activities that provide variety and flexibility, all of which help bring balance to an otherwise challenging role. As well as providing therapeutic interventions, VCSS counsellors also provide community education and training to members of the public and other service provider organisations who may find themselves working with victims of crime.
Counselling interventions can be provided in a face to face setting or over the telephone. As well as counselling and community education and training activities, VCSS counsellors can also support victims of crime through involvement with Youth Justice Conferencing, the preparation of Victim Impact Statements, the provision of information and referral to other relevant organisations and from time to time can also provide support and assistance to people who have been affected as a result of a natural disaster.
Whilst working with trauma can be challenging, VCSS actively works towards reducing the impact of Vicarious Trauma and all counselling staff receive regular clinical supervision and are able to access various professional development activities both within and external to RAQ. Although VCSS staff are located across the state of Queensland, there are opportunities for the wider team of counsellors to come together and share experiences and receive training. A regular teleconference also helps staff keep connected and informed.