Sri Lanka's Court Family Counselors Receive First-Ever Formal Training

Speeches Shim

Friday, August 24, 2018
Family Counsellors take part during interactive exercises, Non-Judicial Officers' Training Institutem Battamarulla, April 2018

USAID's Coherent, Open, Responsive, Effective Justice (CORE Justice) project partnered with Sri Lanka's Judicial Service Commission and the Non Judicial Officers' Training Institute to provide 73 court-based family counselors with knowledge, skills, and techniques in family counseling during three-day courses held in April, May, and June 2018.  This was the first ever formal training for the Court Family Counselors and was conducted by the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka to help build the professional capacities of family counselors across the country who handle clients referred by courts connected to family disputes such as maintenance, custody, domestic violence, and divorce. The training program covered topics such as the characteristics of skilled counselors; conducting counseling sessions effectively; counseling approaches and skills; counseling on family, mental disorders substance abuse, gender based violence, sexual issues in marriage, child psychology, stress management, burnout; and self-care for counselors. There was consensus that it is essential to update family counselors on novel techniques regularly to provide better service to their clients; family counselors should be given the freedom to be more effective by having appropriate private counseling space, infrastructure, and time by higher officials of the judicial system.  In depth training needs were identified on counseling for mental disorders, substance abuse, and sexual issues in a marriage. USAID’s CORE Justice helps to modernize Sri Lanka's justice system through strengthening justice sector institutions, processes, and actors.