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GambleAware identifies the key barriers to the success of a gambling support service


stated that the perceived stigma surrounding talks about gambling-related harms was a key barrier to the success of the gambling support service in England and Wales.

The charity released an independent process and impact assessment report, supplemented by KantarPublic, for the service that was provided by local Citizen Advice Offices

in 12 regions in both countries from October 2018 to March 2018.

It found that one of the main moderators was Citizens Advice's expertise in providing support to clients on sensitive issues as well as their respected role in the community.

The evaluators found that this means frontline workers are well equipped to effectively detect and support customers at risk and experiencing harm related to gambling.

About 30,000 people have been tested for gambling-related harms, however, one of the main barriers identified has been consistency in control practices with local authorities.

The evaluators found that the lack of flexibility in the screening questions, the perceived stigma and the limited capacity of the frontline staff in some local offices meant inconsistency in the frequency and format in which the questions were asked.

In addition, it has also discovered that active involvement and strategic commitment to the program by Citizens Advice CEOs and senior managers can help encourage routine screening and facilitate program success.

Helen Owen, Director of Assessment and Monitoring at GambleAware

, she explained: “This careful assessment has demonstrated the important role that citizen guidance plays in advising and referring people who are at risk or experiencing gambling.

“In addition, it helped to identify major barriers to the success of the gambling support service. With this understanding, we now have a clear idea of what the service can be improved upon. The conclusions of this evaluation contributed to the launch of a new process and model at the national level of citizens' advice.

It was recommended that future iterations of the program explore flexibility in the use of screening questions to encourage more natural conversations about the harms of gambling as a regular counseling practice.

It was also suggested that frontline employee training should address this issue of perceived uncomfortable gambling harm conversations more accurately and consistently, reinforced by discussions at team meetings, and receiving personalized feedback.

In addition, additional insights include spreading Citizens Advice promoting the service as well as supporting the networking process to help provide support at the local level.

GambleAware continues to invest in the Citizen Advice Service Delivery model that follows recommendations, and has allocated £ 1.8m for vised service between 2021-07.

Daniel Marshall, director of business development at Citizens Advice

He added: “Gambling problems can impact lives, not only for gamblers but also for their family, friends and colleagues.

“It is very important that anyone with problems knows that they can get help and that they don't have to do it alone. We are very happy to be able to cooperate with GambleAware on such an important project. "

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