New service helps vulnerable children

Jane Deamer
Jane Deamer

A new therapeutic service for children who have been sexually abused or assaulted has been launched.

The new service is a partnership between Serenity, the county’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, and the charity Service Six.

The new countywide service, which started on Sunday (December 1), aims to provide specialist assessment and intervention that will help improve young people’s emotional well-being and help them cope with issues they may be having as a result of the abuse or assault.

Initially, referrals will be assessed by Serenity, who will act as the referral ‘hub’ to ensure they meet the required criteria before Service Six make contact with the family, do an initial assessment and provide follow-up sessions with specialist therapists.

Serenity manager Glynis Bliss said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to make a real difference to some of our most vulnerable children and young people. Our support workers can provide a general level of emotional support and practical help for children and young people who have been sexually abused or assaulted, but where there are higher level needs, we often struggle to find them that specialist help. Very often our client base will fall between those who need general emotional support and those who require a much higher level of support such as that provided by mental health services. This new service aims to fill the gap between those two levels of help.

“Service Six has an excellent record of working with this age group and we are really looking forward to working with them.”

Jane Deamer, chief executive of Service Six, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work with Serenity in supporting even more children and young people in the county. Service Six already offers a generic professional therapeutic service within the county so this new contract adds another specialist service to our expanding charity. We will be undertaking a range of bespoke support and therapy services to ensure that we maximise the impact for these vulnerable clients.”