Support for children and young people affected by sexual abuse

We have been awarded a small amount of funding to deliver therapeutic support to children and young people affected by sexual abuse. This pilot service will run from November 2021 to April 2022, and will enable us to offer therapy free of charge to a small number of children and young people.

To be eligible for this service, children must:

  • Be aged between 4 and 17 at the time of referral
  • Live within the Sheffield Local Authority area
  • Have been affected by sexual abuse which has been reported to the police and Children’s Social Care
  • Be living safely with a carer who is able to support therapy

How to refer

We are happy to accept referrals from both families and professionals for this work. Please contact us via email, telephone or using our web form.

If we expect that we will be able to provide an appropriate service, we will send a longer referral form which forms the first stage of our assessment process. This form will usually be completed jointly by the child’s carer and a supporting professional. We will ask consent to contact other professionals who have been involved with the family.

What happens next?

After we have received the full referral form, we will make contact with the relevant professionals to give us a fuller understanding of the child’s needs and the support available. If appropriate we will arrange a professionals’ meeting to share information that will help us to support the child.

The next step is to arrange an initial consultation for the child’s parent(s) / carer(s). We will talk in more detail about the child and their experiences, the difficulties they are currently experiencing and the carers’ hopes for therapy, as well as the child’s strengths and interests. This is also an opportunity for parents and carers to ask any questions about the therapy that is being offered, to make sure that this meets their child’s needs. This consultation will either be with the therapist recommended for your child or with one of the Centre Directors, Jenny or Rosie.

For younger children, we may suggest a Family Play Observation as part of the assessment process. We will discuss this with you if it is recommended for your family.

Your child will be offered an appointment for regular therapy sessions. These will take place at the same time every week, with the same therapist, and will be held at the Apple Tree Centre.

After five therapy sessions, the parents / carers will be invited to attend a therapeutic review. The therapist will offer some feedback which has been agreed with the child or young person, and the carers will be invited to talk about their experiences and any changes they have noticed as well as asking any questions. We will decide at this meeting whether to continue therapy and discuss how long this process might last.

If we or the child’s carers decide that continuing therapy is not in the child’s best interest, we will usually offer a final ‘ending’ session for the child to say goodbye to the therapist and end work in their own way. Wherever possible, the therapist will raise any concerns before the review session, and we encourage parents and carers to contact us if they have any concerns so that these can be addressed as quickly as possible.

Once therapy is ongoing, we will continue to offer review appointments approximately every six sessions. We will aim to agree an end date in advance so that the child or young person can work towards this in their therapy sessions.