Ex-clients' evaluation of bereavement counselling in a voluntary sector agency

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This study aims to carry out an evaluation of bereavement counselling provided by a voluntary charity from the perspective of clients who had availed themselves of the service. A questionnaire survey of ex-clients of one branch of a major voluntary sector bereavement care organization was carried out. Based on a sample of 89 returned questionnaires (representing a response rate of 45%), findings indicated that paraprofessional voluntary counsellors can provide a counselling service to bereaved people that satisfies the majority of clients who report positive experiences in counselling and post-counselling outcomes, and generally rate their counselling as helpful. Nonetheless, there was a minority of ex-clients who did not regard their status, 6 weeks after counselling, as being more positive. Further, the reputation of the voluntary agency within the community and among potential referrers and ex-clients appears strong, offering additional positive evidence of the status of their bereavement counselling service in the locality.

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