By editor - 22 March, 2016
Cura, the Crisis Pregnancy Support Services, has announced a major restructuring of its services, including its drop-in services.
This reorgnisation will now services delivered through four main service hubs in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford.
The service hubs are being located in key urban areas where the agency has identified an ongoing demand for drop-in face-to-face services.
In addition, Cura Outreach Centres are to be located in Sligo, Tallaght and the Dundalk/Monaghan area.
However, over the coming months centres in Kilkenny, Tralee, Ennis, Thurles, Limerick, Athlone and Wexford will close.
But all of Cura’s services will continue to be available in these areas but only by appointment through the nearest Cura service hub.
Commenting on the restructuring, the President of Cura, Bishop Éamonn Walsh said, “As we enter our fortieth year, Cura has undertaken a strategic review to evaluate how best to meet the access needs of our clients in an environment which is very different to that of 1977.”
“The client is at the centre of our work and Cura must continue to be accessible to all clients.”
Louise Graham, National Coordinator of Cura, said in a statement on Monday, “Cura’s commitment is to ensure immediate access to services. In today’s world, this means an increased focus on telephone and online presence.”
She highlighted that in 2015, 79% of Cura clients were under the age of 35, “so our review focused on trends in both behavioural change of clients in terms of access to services, and on the take-up of services”.
As well as improving accessibility, Cura analysed various sources of referral to its services and, unsurprisingly, there has been an exponential increase in online contact as website visits have increased by 250% from 10,563 in 2013 to 26,342 in 2015.
Inversely, between 2011 and 2015, there has been a 25% drop in face-to-face client contacts from (848 to 622).
At 41%, the internet is by far the single greatest referral source for new Cura clients, with over half of new-users visiting the site via tablet or smartphone.
“Similarly, there has been a relative increase in incoming calls to our national helpline, with a 33% increase in call volume in 2015 when compared with the 1,200 calls received in 2014,” according to Louise Graham.
On Monday, Bishop Walsh said these changing trends in accessibility, and in the take up of services, have informed the design of the new Cura structure.
“Since our establishment, Cura support services have reached out to thousands of women who experience crisis and unplanned pregnancy, and have done so in a sensitive and professional manner while remaining true to our Catholic ethos and values, of respect for life from the moment of conception.”
He said Monday’s announcement underpins Cura’s commitment to continue to evolve to care for our clients’ needs, but we do so in a radically different Ireland from where we set out.”