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Archbishop Pell announces $100,000 allocation to Centacare for bushfire victims

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell has announced the allocation of $100,000 to Centacare, Catholic Social Welfare agency, to establish targeted, professional support for those affected by the recent tragedies.

Fr John Usher, Director of Centacare, has announced the establishment of a special task force of experienced counsellors with skills in critical incidence and trauma management to provide immediate and long-term support.

"Individuals process trauma differently and often relationship issues and reactions to grief and loss may emerge long after the event", stated Fr Usher. "Material losses can be replaced fairly quickly, but often the trauma of such an event will remain a lifetime unless treated with compassion and professionalism."

Centacare has established a team specially selected for their skills and experience in such matters as relationship and family work; child development, grief and loss mediation and conflict resolution. The service will remain in place for 12-18 months and include critical incident debriefing help for families and children, intermediate interventions with families who are dealing with the effects of trauma on marriage relationships and parenting; and finally, long term interventions with families who have not coped with stress.

Sensitive to the different needs of children and young adults, Centcare has included the Catholic Education Office and Parishes in their plans, as well as links with relevant emergency services and the Department of Community Services.

A confidential telephone counselling service is now available free on 1300 1300 52