More counsellors needed at welfare home complex
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MORE counselors are needed at the Welfare Home Complex (KRK) to ensure the full effectiveness of counselling sessions for the complex’s residents, said the acting assistant director of Community Development Department’s (JAPEM) Rehabilitation and Protection Division.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Khairul Arifin, officer in-charge of the complex, said that KRK is facing a shortage of counsellors as there are only six counselling officers to cater to the 55 residents.
This, he said, brings the ratio to one to 11. “Ideally, it should be one counsellor to attend to five or six residents.”
He said counselling officers who attend to the KRK’s residents are not based in the complex and are also tasked to man other jobs for the department. Therefore, it may be difficult for them to conduct some of the counseling sessions.
The officer in charge added that counselling sessions in the complex are usually individual counselling, family counseling (conducted with or without the resident’s presence) as well as group counselling which are held for the complex’s residents.
Additional counselling officers would allow them to conduct family counselling or intervention which are currently lacking, said Khairul.
“Presently, the ratio of individual counselling and family counselling is four to one, which is not efficient as family counseling is as important as individual counselling,” he said.
Citing an example of a former resident who relapsed in using drugs after he was released due to lack of support from his family, he highlighted how family counselling is crucial in helping to develop an understanding between residents and their families and in ensuring conducive family environment once the resident is released.
The officer also said that the department is looking to improve the situation as they are targeting to have ‘full-time counselors’ based in the complex in the near future.
“What we meant by full-time counsellors are counselling officers based at KRK who will be tasked only with responsibilities of doing counselling sessions for residents, their families and handling programmes in the complex,” he said.
The Brunei Times